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The Lewis Carroll Society of North America 

Summer 2003 

Volume II Issue 3 

Number 73 

Knight Letter is the official magazine of the Lewis Carroll Society of North America. 

It is published twice a year and is distributed free to all members. 

Subscriptions, business correspondence, and inquiries should be addressed 

to the Secretary, PO Box 204, Napa CA 94559. 

Annual membership dues are U.S. $25 (regular) and $50 (sustaining). 

Submissions and editorial correspondence should be sent to 

the Editor, preferably by email (, 

or mailed to PO Box 2006, Mill Valley CA 94942. 

ISSN 0193-886X 

Mark Burstein, Editor in Chief 

Matthew Demakos, Editor of "The Rectory Umbrella" 

Sarah Adams, Associate Editor 

Andrew H. Ogus, Designer 

The Lewis Carroll Society of North America 

Alan Tannenbaum, 

Mark Burstein, 

Cindy Watter, 

www. LewisCarroll .org 

Front Cover: 

Preliminary sketch of "How Cheerfully the Bond He Signed" 

by Lewis Carroll. See Sylvie and Bruno, page 1 44. 



A Gardner's Bouquet: New Annotalions 

Martin Gardner 


Patience and 42-de 
August A. Imholtz, Jr. 


Carroll's Platonic Love 

Morris Grossman 

1 1 

Researching Artist of Wonderland 

Frankie Morris 


In Memoriam: Giles Hart 


Twenty-First-Century Views 

ofDodgson 5 Voting Method, Part 2 

Francine F. Abeles 




Alan Tannenbaum 




The Auctioned Wasp 
Matt Demakos 

The Digital Underground 

Bentley 's Rolls 

Ecco Falls Echo Falls 

The Elements of Murder 
Gary Brockman 

Bachelier of Arts 
Joel Birenbaum 

A Map of Misreading 
Sandor Burstein 

Lewis Carroll Among His Books 
Sarah Adams 


A Spasm in Seven Fits 

Lory 5 Town 

Alice, Revealed 
Janet Jurist 

Sic, Sic, Sic 

In Our Other Lives 

Chin Music 

Black as Light 
Mark Burstein 



Books — A r ticks — Cyberspace — Conferences and 

Lectures — Exhibitions — Performances — Awards — 

Auctions — Media — Things 

A large yellow envelope arrived in my P.O. box, postmarked May 16 and bear- 
ing the name Martin Gardner in the top-left corner. The letter therein hum- 
bly inquired, "Is the enclosed document suitable for the Knight Letter?" Yes, 
it was. In fact, we are deeply honored that he has chosen this publication to 
present to the public an important new set of annotations. 

In subsequent correspondence, he has shown just how busy a nonage- 
narian (who doesn't own a computer!) can be: Dover is publishing a revised 
edition of The New Ambidextrous Universe: Symmetry and Asymmetry from Mirror 
Reflections to Superstrings (containing several Carrollian references); Norton is 
publishing an anthology of his Scientific American columns as the Colossal Book 
of Short Puzzles and Problems (his entire "Mathematical Games" legacy is now 
available on CD-ROM: see p. 33); and he is currently at work on a companion 
volume dealing with word puzzles and linguistic oddities, many from Lewis 

The "Rectory Umbrella" is also pleased to present "Carroll's Platonic 
Love," a talk by Morris Grossman at our spring meeting, which many present 
had requested to see in print; "Researching Artist of Wonderland," detailing 
Frankie Morris's story of how her book came to be, and some recent musings; 
Part 2 of "Twenty-First-Century Views of Dodgson's Voting Method" by Fran- 
cine Abeles; and August Imholtz's lively summary of our New York meeting. 

The "Mischmasch" section contains its usual treasure-trove. Who would 
have thought that there would be seven different "adaptations" of the books 
being made into movies within the forthcoming year (not to mention four 
featurettes), many starring Marilyn Manson? That there would be no bidding 
war over the "Wasp in a Wig" galleys? That a light bulb said to be inhabited by 
Dodgson's spirit would be auctioned on eBay? That an Alice-influenced class 
would be taught at the University of Texas at Austin by a professor named 
Bump? That the first Alice stamp to be issued by the U.S. Post Office would 
bear an image by Disney? And on it goes. 

Our contributors, other than those listed in bylines, include Dr. Fran- 
cine Abeles, Joel Birenbaum, Gary Brockman, Carolyn Buck, Llisa Demetrios 
Burstein, Sandor Burstein, Angelica Carpenter, Matt Demakos, August Im- 
holtz, Clare Imholtz, Janet Jurist, Devra Kunin, Charlie Lovett, Dayna Mc- 
Causland, Iain and Pippa Morris, Fred Ost, Andrew Sellon, Linda Sunshine, 
Alan Tannenbaum, and the Walter family (Cindy, Charlotte, Nick, and Neil). 

With this issue, we heartily welcome the talented Sarah Adams to our 
editorial staff. 

Mark Burstein 


yC ^a/x/rier-'^ QSououiet: J^/ei^ y(jin£^talmfi& 

Martin Gardner 




Since Norton published in 2002 what they called the "de- 
finitive" Annotated Alice, numerous readers have written to 
propose new notes, and other good suggestions have been 
made in books and periodicals. In brief, the new edition is 
far from definitive, a goal it surely will never reach. Rather 
than add new notes to another revised edition — that 
would be unfair to purchasers of the present edition — I 
decided to send to Knight Letter a supplement containing 
more notes and a few trivial corrections. 

The first edition of Annotated Alice was published by 
Clarkson Potter in 1960. It was followed thirty years later 
by More Annotated Alice, with art by Peter Newell, published 
by Random House. The present Norton edition combines 
the text of both books, with many fresh notes tossed in. The 
past few years have seen a continuing flood of new books 
and articles about Lewis Carroll and Alice. The number of 
Carroll biographies now exceeds twenty, the best (in my 
opinion) by Morton Cohen.' The Lewis Carroll Society in 
England publishes three periodicals. The Carrollian, Lewis 
Carroll Revieio, and Bandersnatch. The Lewis Carroll Society 
of North America publishes the Knight Letter. Other pub- 
lications come from similar groups in Canada, Australia, 
and Japan. 

Many pages would be required just to list 
new illustrated editions, and more books by or 
about Carroll appear every year. I have written 
The Universe in Handkerchief, about his original 
puzzles and games; annotated The Hunting of the 
Snark and Phantasmagoria; and penned introduc- 
tions to The Nursery Alice, Alice's Adventures under 
Ground, and the first volume of Sylvie and Bruno} 

Books and papers by Morton Cohen con- 
tinue to reveal surprising new information. A 
raft of plays, musicals, films, even ballets keep 
turning up on stage and screen. New translations 
of Alice are being made throughout the world, 
especially in Russia and Japan. (For the prolifer- 
ating Russian literature, see Maria Isakova's fine 
article in Knight Letter 74, Winter 2004.) 

So much for the bright side of the ongoing 
Carroll Renaissance. There is a darker side. I 
refer to the burst of criticism by a small group of 
scholars known to outsiders as "revisionists," and 
to themselves as "Contrariwise: The Association 
of New Lewis Carroll Studies." (The term comes, 
of course, from the Tweedle twins.) They even 
have a W^b site called Looking For Leiois Carroll.^ 




"Lady Jane. " Illustration for Anne Thackeray, From An Island in The Cornhill Magazine 18 (December 1868). 
"As I reached the door ivilh Mrs. William, I saw a bustle of some sort, a fly, some boxes, a man, a maid, a tall lady of 
about seven or eight and twenty " 

The purpose of this "new wave" of criticism is to 
explode what its leaders call the "myth" of Dodgson 
as a devout Anglican who had almost no interest in 
boys or mature women, instead concentrating his af- 
fections on attractive preadolescent girls, with a spe- 
cial love for young Alice Liddell. According to Pro- 
fessor Cohen's theory, Dodgson actually hoped that 
someday he might marry an adult Alice. 

"Contrariwise!" shouts Karoline Leach, who 
started the revisionist movement. In her explosive 
book In the Shadow of the Dreamchild: A New Understand- 
ing of Lewis Carroll, she does her best to demolish his 
saintly image. To replace it, she depicts him as a nor- 
mal heterosexual who used his child-friendships "as 
the cleanser of his grubby soul.""* It is impossible to 
believe Leach's contention that not only did Dodg- 
son engage in adultery with Mrs. Liddell, Alice's 
straightlaced mother, but that he had similar affairs 
with other adult women.' 

Leach's claims strike Professor Cohen and many 
other CarroUians, including me, as on a level with the 
absurd premise in Dan Brown's The DaVinci CW^that 
Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene, who appears in 
DaVinci's "Last Supper" as sitting to the right of the 
Lord.*" Leach's revelations are almost as preposterous 
as a book, actually published years ago, "proving" that 
Carroll was Jack the Ripper, or another idiotic work 
exposing Queen Victoria as the true author of the 
Alice hooVsl 

For some comments on the "Contrariwisers," see 
Morton Cohen's slashing article "When Love Was 

Young: Failed Apologists for the Sexuality of Lewis 
Carroll" in the Times Literary Supplement? Cohen bases 
his attack on Leach's book and on her two articles in 
earlier issues of the same publication." 

I give Leach Brownie points for calling attention 
to a peculiar long-forgotten short novel, From an Is- 
land (1877, reprinted 1996). The author was William 
Thackeray's daughter Anne. In an article in The Car- 
rollian;^ Leach asserts that Anne's novella is a roman 
a clef, its main characters based on then living per- 
sons such as Tennyson and the artist G. F. Watts. The 
book's central figure has the strange name of George 
Hexham, a young photographer possibly from Christ 
Church College, Cambridge.'" During a visit to the 
Isle of Wight he falls in love with the heroine, Hester, 
and she with him. Leach maintains that Hester is a 
thinly disguised Anne, and that Hexham is — tighten 
your seat belt! — none other than our Mr. Dodgson. 

Thackeray does a cruel hatchet job on Hexham. 
He is portrayed as tall and handsome (no trace of a 
stammer), but selfish, pushy, self-centered, obnox- 
ious, easily angered, and rude to everybody including 
Hester. His hair is "closely cropped," unlike Carroll's 
long, flowing locks. He treats Hester with callous in- 
difference while he flirts shamelessly with another 
woman. At the story's end the two lovers have an im- 
probable reconciliation. 

In the article, titled "Lewis Carroll as Romantic 
Hero," Leach discloses that Dodgson owned a copy 
of /Vom an Island, and in a letter praised Anne's writ- 
ing style as unusually "lovely." On October 5, 1869, he 

briefly mentions in another letter that he "met" Anne 
at a dinner party. Leach assumes, with no evidence, 
that "met" does not here mean he met Anne then 
for the first time. She conjectures that he met her 
years earlier, but that a diary entry on such a meeting 
must be in one of the diary's lost pages. It seems to 
me that Dodgson, who thought so highly of Anne's 
work, would somewhere have dropped a hint that he 
and Anne were more than just casual friends. It is also 
strange that she identifies Hexham as a photogra- 
pher, not as the author of a famous children's book. 
(The first Alice was published three years earlier than 
Anne's novel.) 

Keith Wright, discussing From an Island in a let- 
ter to the editor," argues persuasively that Hexham, 
unlike other characters in the book, was an entirely 
fictional creation. Dodgson, he writes, did indeed 
visit the Isle of Wight on three occasions. Mrs. Ten- 
nyson kept a journal that mentions the last two visits, 
but makes no reference to Anne and Dodgson being 
on the island at the same time. Dodgson's first visit 
is recorded in his diary for 1864. There is no men- 
tion of Anne. I find it a huge stretch to suppose that a 
youthful Dodgson would have the ugly personality of 
Hexham without a record of someone else's similar 
impression. Leach suspects that a romantic episode 
with Anne underlies his later poems about the love 
of a woman. 

Leach missed a subtle Carrollian clue, which I 
recently discovered. It is based on what wordplay en- 
thusiasts call "alphabetical shifts." Move each letter of 
GH, the initials of George Hexham, back four steps in 
the alphabet. You get cd for Charles Dodgson! And if 
you move CD forward another four steps you arrive at 
KL, the initials of Karoline Leach. Another bit of nu- 
merology links LC to GH. For each letter in LC substi- 
tute the number of its position in the alphabet using 
the code a = 1, b = 2 and so on. The letters of LC have 
the values 12 and 3, which add to 15. The same sum is 
obtained when you do the same with gh. 

(Of course that last paragraph was entirely 
tongue in cheek!) 

At any rate. Leach deserves credit for uncovering 
a bizarre and still unresolved literary mystery.* 

Matthew Demakos, in a letter to The Carrollian,^'^ 
calls attention to six scholars who speculated on the 
identity of characters in From an Island. It appears 
from their conflicting opinions that the novella may 
not be a roman a clef after all! There is no agreement 

about the then living counterparts of Anne's narra- 
tive. For example, Tennyson could be portrayed as 
either St. Julian or Lord UUeskelf. St. Julian could be 
based on Browning or Watts as well as Tennyson, and 
so on for other characters. 

The novella, Demakos reveals, first appeared in 
three installments in Cornhill Magazine (1868-69), be- 
fore any record of Carroll having met Anne. In the 
novel Hexham sends a letter from Lyndhurst, with no 
explanation of why he was there. All very mysterioso. 

New Notes and Corrections 

The page numbers are for "The Definitive Edition" 
of The Annotated Alice (Norton, 2000). Pagination is 
different in the Penguin British edition. 

xvii. Place a ^ for an end-note after "white stone" in 
line 13 from bottom. 

xxii. Add an end-note: 

1. For a history of the ancient practice of mark- 
ing a special day or event with a white stone, see 
Kate Lyon's essay "The White Stone" in Knight 
Lg«er68, Spring 2002. 

11. Place a ^^ for another annotation at end of second 

12. Add an annotation: 

la. Professor D. T Donovan, University College 
London, reminded me that the White Rabbit's 
pink eyes identify him as an albino. 

Add to the first paragraph below the quotation in 
the footnote: 

A subtle indication of Carroll's influence on L. 
Frank Baum is the fact that the first word of the 
first Oz book is "Dorothy." Linda Sunshine has 
published beautifully illustrated tributes to both 
authors: All About Alice^^ and All About Oz.'^ She, 
Angelica Carpenter, myself, and many others 
are among those who are both Carrollians and 

14. Place a ^^ for an annotation after the word "Alice" 
in second paragraph, line 8. 

* Hexham is a town in Northumberland, a northern county of 
England. Can any reader provide a good explanation of why 
Anne would apply this name to George Hexham? Is it possible 
that there was a photographer at Cambridge University who 
came from Hexham? 

[Is it of interest that ni:x- (Gr. k'^, six) is half of Don- (Gi: BcbSeKQ, 
twelve) ? - Matt Dernakos] 

Add an annotation: 

5a. This is the first time Alice says "you know" as 
a needless interjection. James B. Hobbs surprised 
me by pointing out that Alice says "you know" 
more than thirty times in the two Alice hooks. 
Other characters say "you know" more than fifty 
times! These numbers do not include "you know" 

when used normally, just when used as a mean- 
ingless phrase. 

Both Alice and the characters she meets repeat 
"you know"s like many of today's American youths 
even after they become adults. Is it possible that 
"you know" was a similar speech fad in Carroll's 
day? Hobbs found it gratifying that when Alice 
says "you see" (another of her favorite expres- 
sions) to the Caterpillar he replies "I don't see," 
and when she later says "you know," the Caterpil- 
lar remarks, "I don't know." See my article "Well, 
You Know..." in Knight Letter ^b, Winter 2000. 

30. Line 4 of note. Change the year to 1848. 

32. Add to end of note 2: 

At the end of the previous chapter's Note 10, I 
mentioned the surprising appearance of an ape 
in Tenniel's pictures of the creatures present at 
the Caucus Race. Carroll himself had introduced 
the ape in the sketch he made for Alice's Adven- 
tures Underground. Because the ape is nowhere 
mentioned in the text of that book or in the first 
Alicehoo\i, critics have understandably wondered 
why Carroll added an ape and allowed Tenniel to 
do likewise. The consensus is that the ape's pres- 
ence reflected public controversy over Darwin's 
theory of evolution. 

Did Carroll believe in evolution? It has been 
said that he did not. I'm not so sure. In his diary 
(November 1, 1874) he expresses his admiration 
for a book by the British zoologist St. George 
Jackson Mivart: 

"Not being well, I stayed in all day, and dur- 
ing the day read the whole of Mivart 's Genesis 
of Species, a most interesting and satisfactory 
book, showing, as it does, the insufficiency of 
'Natural Selection' alone to account for the 
universe, and its perfect compatibility with 
the creative and guiding power of God. The 
theory of 'Correspondence to Environment' 
is also brought into harmony with the Chris- 
tian's belief." 

Now Mivart, a student of Thomas Huxley, fully 
accepted an ancient earth and the evolution of 
all life from single-celled life forms. However, like 
today's proponents of "intelligent design," he ar- 
gued in his book that God created and guided 
the evolutionary process and at some moment 
of history infused immortal souls into ape-like 

In 1900, the Catholic Church excommunicated 
Mivart for heresy. In recent years, the Vatican 
has officially endorsed Mivart's intelligent design 
view. For the sad story, see Chapter 9 of my On the 

Wild Side.''' 

36. First line of note. Change "New York" to "New Jer- 
sey." (This was corrected after the first edition.) 

39. Add to note 4: 

Correction: Gordon Claridge wrote from Oxford 
University to say that this phrase is heard only in 

70. Add to note 1: 

"Carroll never actually describes any of his char- 
acters," writes Linda Sunshine in the Knight Letter 
74, Winter 2004. "So illustrators are really free to 
use their wildest imaginations to create their very 
own Wonderland." 

102. Add to the quotation from Mary Howitt's poem 
at the top of Note 3: 

See "The Contribution of Mary Howitt's 'The 
Spider and the Fly' to Alice's Adventures in Won- 
derland' by Chloe Nichols, in The Carrollian 13, 
Spring 2004. Howitt's entire poem of seven stan- 
zas is reprinted in the issue's appendix. 

103. Add to the top note: 

For a good account of the traditional tunes for 
many of the songs in the two A/fry? books, as well 
as melodies for songs written by later composers, 
see Armelle Futterman's article "'Yes,' Said Alice, 
'We Learned French and Music.'" in Knight Letter 
73, Spring 2004. 

107. Add to note 8: 

David Lockwood, writing on "Pictorial Puzzles in 
Alice" ( The Carrollian 14, Autumn 2004), makes a 
good case for the appearance of all five opening 
ballet positions in illustrations for the first Alice 
book. The knave of Hearts is in second position 
(page 88 of the Norton Annotated Alice) . The fish 
(page 58) is in third position, and the frog, in the 
same drawing, is in the fifth. Alice, in the picture 
on page 106, is in fourth position. 

That these are not coincidences, Lockwood 
argues, is supported by the near absence of any 
ballet positions in Tenniel's art for the second 
Alicehook. Only the first position turns up in the 
stances of the Tweedle brothers. Lockwood ends 
his article with some interesting speculations 
about the origin of the command "Off with her 
(or his) head!" 

120. Add to the note: 

For more speculations about 42, see Ellis Hill- 
man's "Why 42?" \n Jabberwocky 82 (Vol. 22, no. 
2, Spring, 1993), and The Alice Companion, by Jo 
Elwyn Jones and J. Francis Gladstone (New York 
University Press, 1998), 93-94. 
Yuriko Kobata wrote to tell me about the follow- 
ing correlation she had discovered. For each let- 
ter in DODGSON substitute the number of its 
position in the alphabet (A = 1, B = 2, etc.). The 
sum of the eleven digits is 42. 

123. Add to note 5: 

It was suggested that in the picture on the left, 
also in Tenniel's frontispiece, the Jack is not 
the Jack of Hearts but the Jack of Clubs. Why? 
Because tiny emblems on Jack's tunic look like 
clubs. However, if you check the Jack of Hearts in 
any modern deck you'll find the same emblems. 
They are not clubs but three-leaf clovers — the 
Irish shamrock, widely taken by Irish Christians 
to be a symbol of the Holy Trinity. 

124. Add to note 7, after the long paragraph: 
Tenniel also darkened the noses of the Duchess 
(page 9) and the Queen of Hearts (page 82), 
suggesting that they, too, were boozers. 

125. Add to note 8: 

Critics have observed that the first card to fall is 
the Ace of Clubs, the executioner. 

152. Add to note 18: 

In the illustration on page 214, Tenniel pictures 
the toves with noses that are long helices, like 
corkscrews. In keeping with the book's mirror 
symmetry motif, helices come in two forms, each 
a mirror reflection of the other 

155. Add the following paragraphs: 

See also Knight Letter 10, Winter 2002. The issue 
features a lengthy discussion of foreign transla- 
tions of "Jabberwocky" with an abundance of 
examples. Written by August Imholtz, the article 
first appeared in The Rocky Mountain Review of 
Language and Literature (Vol. 41, No. 4, 1997). 

Jabberland, a Wliiffle Through the Tulgey Wood of 
Jabberwocky Imitations is a collection of more than 
200 parodies of "Jabberwocky"! It was printed in 
2002, edited by Dayna McCausland and the late 
Hilda Bohem. Copyright laws prevented the book 
from going on sale, but a limited edition was of- 
fered to members of the Lewis Carroll Societies 
in the United States and Canada. 

162. Place an ^^ for another annotation at end of third 
paragraph from the bottom. Add an annotation: 

8a. Mathematician Solomon Golomb commented 
in a letter on the Red Queen's remark: "When 
the Red Queen says, 'When you say "hill," /could 
show you hills, in comparison with which you'd 
call that a valley,' and Alice objects, 'a hill can't 
be a valley, you know. That would be nonsense,' I 
suspect that Dodgson was reacting to something 
in Hans Christian Andersen's story 'Elverh0] {Elf 
Hill, which is very famous and was even made into 
a ballet). The Troll King (the Mountain King, or 
Dovreguben in Ibsen's Peer Gynt, written later) from 
Norway, is visiting the Elf King in Denmark, and 
the Troll King's ill-mannered son says, regarding 
the 'Elf Hill' of the tide, 'You call this a hill? In 
Norway, we would call it a holeV (Denmark is very 
flat and Norway is very mountainous.) Alice ex- 
presses Dodgson 's mathematical view that what is 
convex cannot be concave. (We would need to 
know when the English translation of "Elverh0f 
reached Oxford, and if Dodgson is likely to have 
read it.)" 

202. Add to note 13: 

Solomon Golomb writes: "Many of your read- 
ers would be surprised to learn that this is pre- 
cisely the kind of spinning four-sided top called 
a 'dreidle,' with which Jewish children play on 
Chanukah. The four Hebrew letters ] , 3 , H, and 
^, are on the four sides, instructing the player, 
respectively, to take a) nothing, b) everything, c) 
half, or d) add something to the pot." 

223. Add to note 4: 

James Tertius DeKay and Solomon Golomb each 
wrote to suggest that Haigha and Hatta may have 
been suggested by the names of two fifth-century 
brothers, Hengist and Horsa. The early Saxons 
traced their lineage back to these two warriors. 

230. Add to note 13: 

See Jeffrey Stern's article, "Carroll, the Lion and 
the Unicorn" in The Carrollian 5, Spring 2000. 

246. Add the following paragraph between the first 
two paragraphs of the note: 

All the stanzas of Wordsworth's poem were re- 
printed in the first edition (19.60) of The Anno- 
tated Alice. They were omitted from this edition 
for space reasons. 

247. Add to the last note: 

Leslie Klinger, in the first volume of his New An- 
notated Sherlock Holmes, reproduces (page 428) 
an advertisement for Rowland's macassar oil. 
Klinger writes in a note that the oil was made 

from ylang-ylang, a perfume extracted from a 
tropical Asian tree. He adds that the name macas- 
sar derwcs from Makasar, an Indonesian city now 
called Ujung Pandang. 

248. Add to note 18: 

The present steel suspension bridge was built 
during 1938-46. See Ivor Wynne Jones's article 
"Menai Bridge" in Bandersnatch 127, April 2005. 

263. Add to the note: 

Solomon Golomb wrote to say that the British 
word "pudding" is much more vague than as 
used here. "It is any sort of sweet or dessert, or 
even a different food entirely, as in Yorkshire 
pudding." Note that the pudding invented by the 
White Knight (page 242) was intended for the 
"meat course." 

274. Add to the note: 

In the last two lines of the first stanza, Carroll 
rhymes skyW\\h dreamily. According to R.J. Carter, 
in a note to his 2004 fantasy Alice's Journey Beyond 
the Moon, Dean Liddell pronounced university to 
rhyme with sky. The same rhyming occurs in the 
followingjingle, which Carter quotes. It was often 
recited at Oxford University in Carroll's time. 

I'm the Dean of Christ Church; — Sir 
There's my wife, look well at her. 

She's the Broad and I'm the High: 
We're the University. 

298. Add a postscript: 

In 1978, England's Lewis Carroll Society spon- 
sored a symposium at which Carroll scholars de- 
bated at length the question of whether galleys of 
the "W^asp in a Wig" episode were authentic or an 
impressive forgery. Arguments pro and con were 
given, but the majority opinion was on the side 
of authenticity. Also debated was whether the 
episode was intended as a chapter, or as part of 
the chapter about the White Knight. For a com- 
prehensive account of the symposium, including 
the reproduction of newly discovered documents 
bearing on the questions, see Matthew Demakos' 
article "The Authentic Wasp" in Knight Letter 12, 
Winter 2003. 

Morton Cohen, I^eivis Carroll: A Biography (New York: Knopf, 

Martin Gardner, The Universe in a Handkerchief {New York: 
Copernicus, 1996); Martin Gardner, The Annotated Snark 
(New York: Simon and Schuster, 1962); Lewis Carroll, Phan- 
tasmagoria, with introduction and notes by Martin Gardner 
(Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 1998); Lewis Carroll, The 
Nursery "Alice, "with an introduction by Mardn Gardner (New 
York: McGraw Hill, [1966]; Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures 
Under Ground, with an introducUon by Martin Gardner (New 
York: Dover, 1965); Sylvie and Bruno, with an introduction by 
Mardn Gardner (New York: Dover, 1988). 

Looking for Lewis Carroll, 

Karoline Leach, In The Shadow of the Dreamchild: A Neiu Un- 
derstanding of I .ewis Carroll (London: Peter Owen, 1999), 71, 

Ibid.. 196, 252-56. 

Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code (New York: Doubleday, 2003). 

Morton Cohen, "When Love Was Young: Failed Apologists 
for the Sexuality of Lewis Carroll, The Times Literary Supple- 
ment, September 10, 2004: 12-13. 

Karoline Leach, "Ina In Wonderland" and "The Real Scan- 
dal: Lewis Carroll's Friendships with Adult Women," The 
Times Literary Supplement, August 20, 1999, and February 9, 

Karoline Leach, "'Lewis Carroll' as Romantic Hero: Anne 
Thackeray's From an Island," The Carrollian 12 (Autumn 
2003): 3-21. 

{Hexham is not actually stated as being from Christ College, Cam- 
bridge. At t/ie end of the novel, a friend merely writes from "Ch. Coll., 
Cambridge" to Hexham. Earlier on, Hexham unites from Lynd- 
hurst, the novella giving no stated connection to the town. - Matt 

Keith Wright, letter to the editor. The Carrollian 13 (Spring 
2004): 59-60. 

Matthew Demakos, letter to the editor, The Catrollian 14 
(Autumn 2004): 63-64. 

Linda Sunshine, All About Alice (New York: Clarkson Potter, 

Linda Sunshine, All About Oz (New York: Clarkson Potter, 

Martin Gardner, On the Wild Side (Amherst, New York: Pro- 
metheus Books, 1992). 






^ven Patience and Fortitude, the stone lions 
(guarding the left and right sides of the steps 
'of the main entrance to the majestic New 
York Public Library on Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street, 
shivered a little, ever so little, on a chilly wet after- 
noon, April 30, 2005, as about sixty LCSNA members 
made their way from a delightful lunch at O'Casey's 
Restaurant on 41st Street to the greatest public li- 
brary in the world. The raindrops paused almost long 
enough for us to get to the library, where we checked 
our damp coats and climbed up the marble stairs to 
the wood-paneled Board of Trustees Room on the 
second floor just beyond the Berg Room. 

President Alan Tannenbaum, dutifully cognizant 
of our very full afternoon schedule, called the meet- 
ing to order promptly at 2:00 p.m. Alan introduced 
Courtney Reagan, one of the daughters of the late 
Norman Armour Jr., who very kindly promised to 
provide each LCSNA member at the meeting with a 
signed copy of the Chris- 
tie's catalog from the auc- 
tion held earlier in the 
week of her late father's 
splendid Lewis Carroll 
collection, a collection 
that included the galley 
proofs of the famous sup- 
pressed "Wasp in a Wig" 
chapter from Through the 
Looking-Glass [p. 26]. 

Alan then introduced 
Isaac Gewirtz, curator of 
the Berg Collection. Mr. 
Gewirtz, standing beside 
a library trolley full of 
Lewis Carroll treasures — 
many unique — which he 
had hand-selected from 
the collection, began his 

remarks with a concise but interesting history of the 
great Berg Collection, which we here condense from 
the Library's Web site ( 
spe/brg/berghist.html) . 

The Berg Collection contains some .SO, 000 printed 
volumes, pamphlets, and broadsides, and 2,000 linear 
feet of literary archives and manuscripts, represent- 
ing the work of more than 400 authors. Printed books 
in English date from William Caxton's 1480 edition 

Patience, or is U Futlitude? 

of the Chronicles of England to the present day, and the 
manuscripts encompass an almost equally lengthy pe- 
riod. The Berg's most extensive manuscript holdings 
date from the period 1820-1970, of which a short list 
includes Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Elizabeth Barrett 
Browning, William Makepeace Thackeray, Charles 
Dickens, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and, of course, Lewis 

The establishment of the Berg Collection at the 
New York Public Library in 1940 was made possible by 
the avid book collecting and generosity of the broth- 
ers Henry W. Berg (1858-1938) and Albert A. Berg 
(1872-1950). But the two collectors whose holdings 
would have the greatest impact on the Berg, trans- 
forming it into a scholarly resource of international 
stature, were W. T. H. Howe (1874-1939), president 
of the American Book Company (Cincinnati), and 
Owen D. Young (1874—1962), a presidential adviser, 
the founder and chairman of RCA, the chairman of 

General Electric, and Times 
1929 Man of the Year. To 
them belonged the two 
most extensive and impor- 
tant collections of English 
and American literature in 
private American hands. 
With the acquisition of the 
Howe and Young collec- 
tions by Albert Berg just 
before the donation, the 
Berg metamorphosed from 
a somewhat old-fashioned, 
printed-book collection 
characterized by high-spot 
conservatism (with the ex- 
ception of its great depth 
in Dickens and Thackeray) 
into one of the world's rich- 
est manuscript repositories 
of English and American literature, supporting bib- 
liographical and textual scholarship and the produc- 
tion of numerous scholarly editions. 

The Berg Collection's Lewis Carroll holdings 
are mostly printed materials, along with some manu- 
scripts, a few letters, and some intriguing realia. The 
collection includes seven copies of the 1866 Macmil- 
lan Alice diud six of the Appleton Alice, two proof cop- 
ies of the Nursery Alice, a large number of presenta- 

tion copies, including one to Alfred, Lord Tennyson 
and one in blue goatskin to Alice Liddell, a mathe- 
matical manuscript on number guessing (presumably 
a game but with Carroll these things can have other 
purposes), a set of dice with nonstandard numbers 
and symbols, (e.g., "x"s, a 9, etc. — no one offered 
speculation on that until much later in the program), 
the famous hand-colored photograph of Alice as a 
beggar maid, and such later materials as The Chil- 
dren's Library Alice in Wonderland printed in London. 
Although it of course was not possible to pass these 
extremely rare and valuable books around the room, 
Mr. Gewirtz did an excellent job showing them as he 
moved from side to side of the room with a running 
commentary on all the materials, sharing his always 
interesting personal opinions about them. A more 
delightful and instructive prologue to our program 
could not have been possible. 

Our first speaker was Morris Grossman, emeri- 
tus professor of philosophy at Fairfield University 
in Connecticut, who spoke on the provocative topic 
"Lewis Carroll: Pedophile and/or Platonist?" (For the 
moderately abridged text of Prof. Grossman's paper, 
please see p. 11 in this issue.) Very much in the tradi- 
tion of the expository philosophy of Georges Santay- 
ana, Prof. Grossman explored the fundamental ques- 
tions of what it means to be a human being, how our 
minds can, and do, work simultaneously on the ideal 
and the sensual planes, and how we can ever pretend 
to know the mind of others. 

Following a few lively questions in response to 
Prof. Grossman's paper, August Imholtz noted that 
the study of Plato had been a new and almost revo- 
lutionary event at Oxford when Carroll was in resi- 
dence there. Benjamin Jowett had introduced Plato's 
Republic into the set books in 1853, had been lectur- 
ing on Plato for nearly a decade before that, and was 
all the while working on his great translation of the 
dialogues of Plato. In 1865 Jowett wrote: 

When I was an undergraduate we were fed 
upon Bishop Butler and Aristotle's Ethics, and 
almost all teaching leaned to the support of 
doctrines of authority. Now there are new sub- 
jects, Modern History and Physical Science, 
and more important than these, perhaps, is 
the real study of metaphysics in the Literae 
Humaniores school — every man for the last 
ten years who goes in for honours has read 
Bacon, and probably Locke, Mill's Logic, Plato, 
and the history of philosophy. See how impos- 
sible this makes a return to the old doctrines 
of authority.' 

Our second speaker of the afternoon was LCSNA 
member Monica Edinger, a fourth-grade teacher at 
the Dalton School in New York, where, coinciden- 

Monica Edinger 

tally, we held the Maxine Schaefer Memorial Reading 
the last time we met in New York. In her talk, "The 
Many Faces of Alice," Monica gave us a visual tour of 
how she teaches Alice'xn the classroom. Her classroom 
is decorated with illustrations from Wonderland, and 
many different editions are made available to the stu- 
dents. As background, she shows students the BBC 
productions 1 900 House a.nd The Young Visiters. The 
lesson plan, if that phrase does not do her work an 
injustice, requires that the students read Wonderland 
and then stage a toy-theater presentation of the work. 
The students at the Dalton School are a reflective lot, 
and in summing up their Alice experience many of 
them wrote letters to Lewis Carroll, no matter that he 
probably would not be able to read or hear them. 

"Dear Mr. Carroll," one child wrote, "You need 
more excitement in your book," and continued to 
offer the author advice on how to improve it, though 
he did like the illustrations, and concluded, presum- 
ably quite honestly, by saying, "I am sorry I do not like 
your book, everyone else but me did." [Another such 
letter appears in KL 65:12.] 

Additional projects include a Web book, sug- 
gested by fellow Dalton School teacher Roxanne 
Feldman (our host for the Maxine Schaefer Memo- 
rial Reading), Wonderland costumes, and much more. 
Please visit Monica's enjoyable Web site at intranet. 

After a short break our president, Alan Tan- 
nenbaum, gave his first talk to the Society in a long 
time — quite a long time, in fact, but it was worth the 
wait. Alan's topic was 

.r cnnot-E-r urcintcn-.r-ri '.ua r'l-'.n' 



Morris Grossman 

Or, in a more intelligible alphabet, but the same 
language, "Lewis Carroll's Nyctograph and Square 
Alphabet." Everyone, or almost everyone at least, 
among the readership of this magazine, has heard of 
Lewis Carroll's invention, the Nyctograph (literally 
"night writing"), a device for writing in the dark, but 
what is not so well known is what those night letters 
written with the Nyctograph looked like and how they 
were designed. Alan has spent most of his thirty-year 
career as an IBM research and development engi- 
neer focusing on problems of human-to-computer 
technologies so he was the perfect person to explain 
Lewis Carroll's square alphabet. 

But first, a little background is in order. Carroll 
was interested throughout his life in letter writing, 
codes, ciphers, memory aids, reference tables, games 
with elaborate rules, and in teaching and sharing — all 
of which converge in his development of the square 
alphabet. In 1875, Carroll had bought one of Thomas 
Edison's "electric pens," which was a battery-powered 
device with a wheel that rotated to punch holes in 
paper creating thereby what amounted to a stencil. 
This was a fine invention, the predecessor of the 
mimeograph, and an excellent device for creating let- 
ters and documents when one would need multiple 
copies. In fact, the firm of A. B. Dick purchased the 
patent from Edison and produced the mimeograph 
machines that remained a way to quickly and inex- 
pensively produce multiple copies of documents until 
the advent of photocopying machines in the 1950s. 
But the electric pen, like its nonelectric cousin, was 
useless for writing in the dark and that is another 
thing Carroll wanted to do. Here, from an article in 

The Lady, Oct. 29, 1891, is how he explains his pre- 
dicament and how he solved it: 

[I] will take this opportunity for describing 
my recent invention for writing in the dark, 
which arose from the need of recording 
Syzygy-Chains invented when lying awake at 
night, but which will, I hope, serve a far more 
important purpose, by enabling blind people 
to write letters, &c., without having to dictate 
them to others. 

I think of calling the mechanical appli- 
ance which my system requires, in addition to 
an ordinary "indelible" memorandum-book, 
the "Nyctograph." I invented it September 
24th, 1891, but I do not intend to patent it. 
Anyone who chooses is welcome to make and 
sell the article. 

Any one who has tried, as I have often 
done, the process of getting out of bed at 2 
a.m. in a winter night, lighting a candle, and 
recording some happy thought which would 
probably be otherwise forgotten, will agree 
with me that it entails much discomfort. All I 
have now to do, if I wake and think of some- 
thing I wish to record, is to draw from under 
the pillow a small memorandum book, con- 
taining my Nyctograph, write a few lines, or 
even a few pages, without even putting the 
hands outside the bed-clothes, replace the 
book, and go to sleep again. ... 

Then I tried rows of square holes, each to 
hold one letter (quarter of an inch square I 
found a very convenient size) , and this proved 
a much better plan than the former; but the 
letters were still apt to be unintelligible. Then 
I said to myself "Why not invent a square al- 
phabet, using only dots and the corners and 
lines along the sides?" I soon found that, to 
make the writing easy to read, it was neces- 
sary to know where each square began. This 
I secured by the rule that every square-letter 
should contain a large black dot in the N.W. 
corner. Also I found that it would cause con- 
fusion to have any symbol which used only 
the W. side of the square. These limitations 
reduced the number of available symbols to 
31, of which I selected 26 for the letters of the 
alphabet, and succeeded in getting 23 of them 
to have a distinct resemblance to the letters 
they were to represent. 

Think of the number of lonely hours a 
blind man often spends doing nothing, when 
he would gladly record his thoughts, and you 
will realize what a blessing you can confer on 
him by giving him a small "indelible" memo- 

randum-book, with a piece of paste-board con- 
taining square holes, and teaching him the 
square-alphabet. The crowning blessing would 
be that instead of having to dictate letters to 
his attendant, he could write them himself, 
and no one need see them except those to 
whom they were written. 
There follows in the original publication the 
conversion table from Roman alphabet letters to 
Square Alphabet letters, with notes on how the 
former resemble, more or less — often less — their 
counterparts. Alan expanded on Carroll's text, 
drawing parallels with the Graffiti writing software 
used in the early Palm Pilots. Carroll handled the 
numerals in his square alphabet by using the cipher 
techniques he developed for his Memoria Technica, 
by which letters represent numbers. He also 
developed special symbols for those most common 
words "and" and "the." 

At the conclusion of his fascinating lecture, Alan 
generously distributed a little booklet, Square Alice, 
produced by himself and his wife Alison, which in- 
cludes an introductory essay, the full text of Carroll's 
article from The Lady, quoted in part above, and the 
whole text oi Alice's Adventures under Ground m a com- 
puter (IBM, of course)- generated square alphabet. 

Unfortunately, no samples of Carroll's actual 
notes made on the Nyctograph survive, although 
the Brooks auction catalogue of his possessions lists 
as Lot 218 "Nyctograph in case." The invention it- 
self displays the imaginative mathematical mind of 
Carroll directed toward the resolution of a practical 
problem. His willingness to make it available free to 
whosoever might benefit from it reveals much about 
the kind of person Lewis Carroll/Charles Lutwidge 
Dodgson was. 

In a very odd way, Carroll's square alphabet bears 
some superficial relationship to one of the earliest 
scripts known to man — cuneiform — etched in soft 
clay by the Sumerians more than 5,000 years ago. 
One wonders if Alan Tannenbaum's Square Alice W\\\ 
be around a thousand years from now if Alan incises 
it on mud bricks and lets it bake in the sun in the 
backyard of his Austin home. Perhaps something for 
show and tell at our next meeting... or perhaps not. 

We adjourned at 5:00 p.m., as Patience and For- 
titude were getting a bit drowsy. Later that evening, 
Janet Jurist hosted another of her wonderful cocktail 
parties in her Upper East Side apartment. 

' Evelyn Abbott and Lewis Campbell, The Life and Letters 
of Benjamin Jowett (London: J. Murray, 1897), 412. 

Alice thanks Fortitude (or is it Patience'?). From Punch, Volume 46, January-June, 1864 





In recent years, perhaps because of the wider avail- 
abiUty of his photographs, some Carroll "scholars" 
have become energetic pervert hunters. Their ex- 
aggerated interest in Dodgson's interest in little (Lid- 
dell?) girls has become their way of identifying him. 
This has arisen not merely because he enjoyed Alice's 
company and spent a lot of time with her — for which 
there is certainly much evidence. What has really pro- 
voked surmises of all sorts, and summary sexual in- 
dictments, is that he photographed little girls nude, 
even fetchingly naked. Could such photos, they ask, 
merely be the art of a pioneer photographer or was 
he not a deranged quote-unquote pedophile? 

Many words and phrases, such as obsessive, com- 
pulsive, eccentric, psychically repressed, pathological, psy- 
chotic, perversely erotic, exploitative, and sexually dominat- 
mg-have been used to fix this negative picture, and 
it is not easy to wash them away. One writer asked if 
Dodgson's photos "emanate a foul heat of perverse 
passion."' This is an example of identity attribution, 
or identity creation, with a vengeance. (I deliberately 
conjoin the words attribution and creation, since they 
are part of my theme.) 

What is it that makes someone who he is and not 
someone else? What was Dodgson's relation to Alice? 
Was there a real Alice and an ideal one, and was either 
one an object of his passion? Were his passions — can 
we know them? — either elevatedly abstract or crudely 
physical? Both or neither? 

To offset the above characterizations of Dodgson 
as a vile pedophile, I propose a counterbalancing Pla- 
tonic interpretation, seeing him as a lover, but high- 
minded, abstract, remote. I am skeptical and tentative 
about both interpretations, and juxtaposing them 
might help to underline the precariousness of easy 
identification. I particularly dwell on claims about 
someone's presumed thoughts. To study a complicated 
man is to explore not only what we don't know about 
him but to begin to measure our own limitations and 
prejudices.* The attention we give Carroll depends on 
who we are and on the sort of appreciation and en- 
thusiasm we have. Our identities are as much at stake 
in what we say about Carroll as is his, and both iden- 
tities, necessarily incomplete, are simultaneously cre- 
ated and discovered in the critical process. In some 

A longer version of this paper was read April 30, 2()()b, at the 
New York Public Libraiy meeting. 

respects such identity must remain unknowable and is 
indeed as evanescent as a Platonic ideal. 

Much is known about Mr. Dodgson. However, 
much remains unknown, oddly enough, because of 
the way some questions about him have been posed. 
The way we frame our curiosities, particularly our cu- 
riouser curiosities, can make it fairly certain that we 
will never know enough to get them satisfied. There 
is simply a limit to what can be uncovered about as- 
pects of an inner life — even our own. Some Carrol- 
lian scholars seem convinced that if only we could 
trace a few more facts about him, find some disap- 
peared journal pages, locate some recollections, we 
would finally snare the man and discover his essence. 
(His true Platonic essence, I might say, with deliber- 
ate irony.) 

Identity of sorts is sometimes fairly clear, and 
someone can be a bona fide pedophile — active, ar- 
rested, tried, and jailed. (However, not even the vilest 
criminal behavior fully exhausts a person, or can de- 
termine what might be his primary or secondary des- 
ignation — recall Ezra Pound: was he a traitor and/or 
a poet?) But it is unlikely that Dodgson had sexual re- 
lations with anyone, so our concern here is identity in 
terms of what might be called orientation, something 
that is vaguer than what a person did, said, wrote, and 
even thought he knew about himself. One might then 
call Dodgson a pedophile — as one might call some- 
one a homosexual or a heterosexual or a sadist or a 
sinner or a Carrollian or a Platonist — even absent any 
overt activity that might justify the designation. 

Some people are more detailedly imaginative 
than others. Dodgson at times confessed to unholy 
thoughts, wicked thoughts, whatever they were.'^ He 
may have had more wicked thoughts in one after- 
noon than some of us have in a lifetime. This would 
not be a measure of his wickedness but of his mental 
powers. We all have lots and lots of thoughts, more 
than we can acknowledge or fathom — imaginable 

* August Imholtz, in his engaging piece "Plato in Wonderland or 
'Beautiful Soup' and Other More Philosophical Ideas" in Classics 
Ireland 7 (2000), has pointed to Carroll's connections with 
Platonism and his likely knowledge of original texts. My linking 
him with Platonic love neither assumes nor requires such 
knowledge on Carroll's pari, though in the Oxford of his time 
he probably would have had it. I note that in his poem "Fame's 
Penny-Trumpel," Carroll wrote, "And, where great Plato paced 
serene." This is not a tribute he would make gratuitously. 


and unimaginable. There is a pervasive elusiveness to 
what we think is the content of our mental lives, and 
that elusiveness is relevant to claims about identity 
and character. Ergo, even the notion of orientation 
is problematic. 


I attempted to characterize a sexual orientation by 
assuming the presence of certain clinching sensual 
thoughts. We tend to assume that we can distinguish 
between sensuous thoughts and intellectual ones, or 
know which ones we are attending. I suggest that what 
seems sensual — a visual or aural or even sexual refer- 
ence — may not be that at all. The conceptual and in- 
tellectual obtrude the sensual in ordinary experience 
and even in the arts — in poetry, painting and music. 
We are regularly linguistic and conceptual when we 
might think we are concrete and sensual. "Orienta- 
tion" remains elusive. 

Arthur Danto, philosopher and critic, wrote 
about Modigliani's nudes: "We are conscious of them 
as paintings, and only secondarily as women. "^ Coun- 
tering Danto, I profess no such divided conscious- 
ness. I am conscious of a painting of a woman, or of 
a woman in a painting, with no primary and no sec- 

I am almost inclined to say that the above remark 
is nonsense, though I mean it only in the sense of non- 
sensual. There is surely a linguistic sense in which we 
all get the drift of the distinction. It is the kind of re- 
mark that makes a verbal, not a visual, point and does 
not get definitively to the contents of our minds, nor 
to the vagaries of how and when and why we see what 
we see. Does "secondarily as women" mean erotic 
consciousness? Would "primarily as paintings" mean 
aesthetic consciousness? Does "primarily" mean it 
dominates consciousness to a greater extent, or pre- 
vails over a longer period of time? 

With respect to time, or duration, at least one 
defender, concerned with the amount of attention 
Dodgson gave to young girls, pointed out that he was 
often in church. But where we spend time, what we 
are outwardly doing, is only a partial index of what 
goes on in our heads. You can think of sex in church, 
God in bed, of Alice and Boojums anywhere; you can 
think or imagine just about anything while listening 
to music, or attending a tiresome lecture, or reading 
a diffuse paper. 

In Danto's distinction, it is his language, the rela- 
tionship of the words "paintings" and "women," that 
determines what thinking we do. Whether we are see- 
ing or thinking, or thinking we are seeing, we cannot 
separate out a woman from a painting of a woman, 
or indeed a woman from the idea of a woman. I can 
make these distinctions like anyone else, but they 
do not mark out a typology of my mental life. Nor 
can any presumed tally of someone's wholesome or 

noble thoughts, as over against his unwholesome or 
improper fancies, determine quantitatively a mental 
or a moral orientation. 

In one sense thoughts do not matter. The distinc- 
tion between doing and thinking is crucial for moral- 
ity and law, and to think about sex or murder is differ- 
ent from doing it. But thinking, especially for some 
Catholic moralists, can have a moral dimension apart 
from doing. So further distinctions are needed. First, 
thinking wicked thoughts is bad because they lead, or 
might lead, to doing wicked deeds. Even the law some- 
times looks askance, perhaps dangerously askance, at 
thought; nowadays you might be punished for pos- 
sessing certain pictures, possibly even some of Dodg- 
son's. But some mental activity, as Aristotle explained, 
is superior to other mental activity. Contemplation 
of mathematics, astronomy, philosophy, politics, is 
superior, as an activity, to contemplating murder, 
rape, pedophilia; even superior to contemplating 
licit marital sex, pistachio ice cream, and lots of other 
things. Dodgson might be faulted for contemplating 
pedophilia — which he may have. But it led to no ac- 
tion, and if he did contemplate it, it constituted but 
a limited part of his comprehensive and wide-ranging 

Regarding the morality of mind content, I was 
struck by Anthony Lane's review of Tim Hilton's /o/in 
Ruskin: The Later Years.'* Hilton wrote, "Ruskin's sexual 
maladjustment is not an uncommon one. He was a 
paedophile." Lane wrote, "Which is worse: to be a 
Humbert Humbert [I may have the last name first, 
but he of Lolita connection] who seduces an under- 
age female, with or without her consent, but who at 
least comprehends what he has done: or to be a John 
Ruskin [or Dodgson?], who is guilty of no rape or 
ravishment, but who hardly begins to know his own 
depravity?" Does Lane know his own depravity in not 
knowing which is worse? 

To get back to Dodgson's orientation, was he con- 
scious of his photos primarily as art objects and only 
secondarily as naked little girls? Or was it the other 
way around? I can't clearly make that kind of distinc- 
tion in my own experience and infer, presumptuously, 
that you can't make it in yours, and that Modigliani 
could not make it in his. Minds are mercurial, and 
strange things swim, or are swept, into our kens. I also 
suggest, speculatively, that Dodgson could not make 
the distinction in his mind, and so I decide, dogmati- 
cally, that calling him a pedophile or, as I shall soon 
claim, a Platonic lover, on the basis of some presump- 
tion about thought primacy or content is arbitrary at 

Some people deny the possibility of a simultane- 
ous mental grasp, say of the aesthetic and the erotic, 
without primacy. Some even insist on exclusivity — is it 
art or is it pornography? Why so? 


In "Capture of the Snark" {KL 73:24), E. Fuller 
Torrey, M.D., and Judy Miller wrote of skeptical and 
blasphemous thoughts that kept Dodgson awake. 
They said that Carroll refused to let Henry Holiday, 
whom he had lured to illustrate the poem, depict the 
Boojum. Holiday wrote that all of Carroll's "descrip- 
tions of the Boojum were quite unimaginable, and 
he wanted the creature to remain so."^ This is a kind 
of reverse Platonism. Just as the Platonic good is un- 
imaginable, can't be pictured, neither can ultimate 
evil, which is also very real. This notion of evil, to 
which Dodgson apparently gave some thought, serves 
my theme of a non-pictured, conceptual object. 


But now let us move more directly to Platonic love, 
with its connections to identity, the sensuous, and the 
intellectual. What is unique to Platonic love is its link 
to intellectual capacity, literary imaginativeness and 
moral passion. And while Platonic love is out of fash- 
ion and not now much understood, confessed or ad- 
mired, it is not altogether remote from the ordinarily 
human. "We are often Platonists without knowing it," 
Santayana says.^ I think he means that we can have 
knowledge beyond the evidences of things present 
to us, love excellences that are intimated and envi- 
sioned. We can conceptualize, move from the specific 
to the general, grasp ideas and ideals. WTiat we usually 
don't know — when we are Platonists without knowing 
it — is this Platonizing impulse as a prevailing rather 
than as a partial passion, carried far beyond where 
our own ordinary human experiences and creative 
talents have so far taken us — and perhaps where it in- 
termittently took Dodgson. 

With Santayana's help, here are some examples 
of Platonic love. Santayana describes how Dante, at a 
wedding feast in Florence, saw Beatrice, then a child 
of seven, "who became forthwith, the mistress of his 
thoughts." Further, "This precocious passion ruled 
his imagination for life." Santayana says of Dante that 
his devotion "was something purely mental and poeti- 
cal." But it was not an exclusive devotion for Dante 
who, like Beatrice and Alice, though unlike Dodg- 
son, married. Santayana says that for Dante, "the af- 
fection of married life seems to have existed beneath 
this ideal love, not unrebuked by it, indeed, but cer- 
tainly not disturbing it." So the different kinds of love 
can not only coexist, but can do so simultaneously 
toward different persons. Can we go a step further 
without contradiction? Can carnal and Platonic love 
be directed at the same person? Could Dodgson have 
loved Alice, and thought of her, in both ways? 

The tradition of Platonic love puts great empha- 
sis on the physical unavailability, what might even be 
called the chosen unavailability, of the woman loved 
ideally. Litde Alice would seem to fill that bill. Platoniz- 
ing poetry was characteristically written to women 

who couldn't be wives, and who weren't wanted as 
wives or weren't available as sexual partners. Indeed 
the prime sense of the Platonic impulse is to see it 
as a move from the sensuous to the intellectual, as 
both an ascent and a departure — not always a com- 
plete departure! — from the person previously loved 
physically. (Cf. Plato's Symposium for the relationship 
between Socrates and Alcibiades.) 

As we saw, Platonic love did not preclude some 
lovers from having other kinds of loves or even, simul- 
taneously with the Platonic love, a conventional wife. 
This applied to Dante and his friend Guido Caval- 
canti. Petrarch wrote to Laura, not to the mother of 
his children. Sir Philip Sidney did not write his sonnet 
sequence to his wife. Shakespeare wrote his Platoniz- 
ing sonnets not to his wife but to a young man and/ 
or a dark lady, and of course people speculate about 
Shakespeare's relationship to those persons. So Pla- 
tonic imaginativeness and idealization can occur inde- 
pendently of whatever else goes on mentally and physi- 
cally, toward other persons or even the same person. 

Stephen Greenblatt suggests that Shakespeare 
was drawn to the stage because of his "love of lan- 
guage, his sensitivity to spectacle, and a certain erotic 
thrill in make-believe."^ The erotic thrill of the imagi- 
native, especially as it envisions moral excellence, is 
close to what one might mean by Platonic love. The 
same kind of erotic thrill appears to Dodgson: it is 
conceptual, imaginative, intellectual. 

Many writers distinguish the real Alice Dodgson 
presumably encountered, maybe the one he even 
wanted to embrace, from the persona, the make- 
believe or ideal girl he depicted for us and even 
transformed in his photographs. And then how 
and whether he loved either or both of them, and 
whether such loves were mutually exclusive, becomes 
a puzzle. 

"Real" and "ideal" are treacherous words in any 
discussion of Platonism. Platonic realism means that 
the ideal, the better, the perfect, the changeless is the 
most real. Also the object of the highest passion. It 
actually reverses ordinary discourse about the real 
and the ideal. It leaves the Alice who rowed on the 
river and became Mrs. Hargreaves, and the young 
Beatrice, seen at a distance by Dante, less than fully 
real. For the Platonist, the real is not the obvious, the 
first sensed or available. It is the discovered, the final, 
reached after long effort. 

So the Alice Dodgson first looked at would ordi- 
narily be called real. But might we not recognize that 
an initial image or impression of a person needs more 
attention to undo our possible blindness and igno- 
rance? Isn't the real always waiting to be found out? 
The people we come to know well are not mere place- 
and-time sightings like the initial Alice and Beatrice. 
No, they are changed, sometimes slightly if we are ne- 
glectful or indifferent, sometimes profoundly — if the 


power of our Platonizing impulses can accomplish it. 
Or if you want to leave Plato out of all of this — they 
are changed by our conceptual capacities and moral, 
emotional, and aesthetic interests. 

Let me compress the philosophical gist of all of 
this. There is no real and ideal, or metaphysical prior- 
ity in the ordering of the world or in the way people 
are — there is ontological parity, a kind of equality in 
ways of being. The Western search for the ens realis- 
simum, the most real of things, is misguided. The per- 
son in space and time is real in certain respects. Alice 
was surely of a certain weight and size, made up of 
transient atoms, and must have tilted the boat on the 
Isis with her gravity. But Alice, full of childlike fun, 
playfulness, and smarts, is real in other respects and 
might have tilted the boat with her levity. 

There is no real Alice, and the same can be said, 
mutatis mutandis, for Lewis Carroll. Could we mean by 
Lewis Carroll the imagined creation of the real Oxford 
don, or the real creation of our imagined Oxford don? 
There is only the Carroll we can both honestly discover 
and freely create, in an ongoing process. If we think we 
have found him we have stopped learning. 

The word real, except for particular, limited, 
pragmatic or comparative purposes, is not a useful 
characterization of anything. The so-called real, along 
with its opposites, unreal, dreamlike, fictional, imaginary, 
appear frequently in CarroUian scholarship, and to 
no useful or insightful purpose. If they were removed 
from such writing, as well as from all of philosophy, 
we would be less deluded, and the world would really 
be a better place! Hugues Lebailly has suggested that 
Dodgson was "a Platonic Don Giovanni."" Mozart's 
Don, that most real of characters, whom I have en- 
countered many times, might seem remote from a 
presumably shy and stammering Dodgson. The Ox- 
ford don we are here pretending to fathom has often 
been noted for his reserve and aloofness. Actually 
his shyness dwindles, and his social aggressiveness in- 
creases, with the amount of research done on him! 
He seems to have spent hours and hours in theaters, 
in restaurants, and in his rooms, with women of vari- 
ous ages. But was he ever really all that shy?* 

I have tried, as best as I can, to obscure any as- 
sured identity, even as an orientation, that I can give 
to Dodgson. To float a further philosophical point, 
I would add that this is what significant imaginative 
searches are characteristically about. And what liter- 
ary criticism at its best is about. The distinction be- 
tween what we find and what we create is lost in the 
process, and blessedly so. That distinction, and its 
obliteration, are with us whenever we are mindfully 

' [For an exploration of Carroll's conflicted shyness, and the concept 
of the shy-sociable, see Matthew Demakos, "Accountably and 
Unaccountably Shy, "The CarroUian 14 (Autumn 2004), 9-42. 

searching anything. It is not possible to assemble a di- 
vine comedy, or a biographical sketch, or a tolerable 
poem, or even a well constructed sentence without 
such fashioning and forgetting, such simultaneous 
searching and creating. The "real" endlessly precedes, 
follows, and eludes our best-laid plans and pursuits. 

And Dodgson? Pedophile and/or Platonist? With- 
out clear assertion or denial I would say, using opaque 
modern lingo but also recalling Plato on divine mad- 
ness, that he was "mad about Alice." Perhaps that 
phrase captures the ambiguities and uncertainties that 
are my theme. It clarifies only as much as can be clari- 
fied, and not more — because there is nothing more 
to be clarified. I think Dodgson was mad about, sad 
about, glad about, bad about Alice, in a contrapuntal 
simultaneity that his prolific imagination could easily 
balance — along with a lot of other things. 

Beware, if you like, the claims that Dodgson was 
a Platonic lover; if he saw Alice as beyond her true 
worth, his vision is at least inspired, transparent, and 
deliberate. But beware, even more than the Jabber- 
wock, the person who sees him as a pedophile. It's 
not the negativity that is objectionable but the nar- 
rowness, not the falseness but the irrelevance. 

Santayana somewhere said that the same facts in 
the world make one person a pessimist and another 
person an optimist. The same facts about Dodgson 
enable him to be seen both as a pedophile and, as a 
Platonic lover. And as neither. And as I hope I have 
been suggesting, the pedophile-Platonic pairing is 
perhaps provocative but largely irrelevant to Carroll's 
art and his scope. He remains someone more elusive 
and larger than such narrow namings. 

The same facts in the world will keep us speculat- 
ing about him, finding out more about ourselves, and 
guaranteeing many more meetings of our Society. 

' Kenneth Baker, "In the Eye of the Beholder: Lewis 
Carroll Photography Show Raises Difficult Aesthetic 
Questions, The San Francisco Chronicle, August 5, 2002. 
[ Baker decided "I think not. "] 

^ Morton Cohen, Lewis Carroll: A Biography (New York: 
Alfred A. Knopf, 1995), 202-3. 

^ Arthur C. Danto, "Body and Soul: Amedeo Modigliani," 
The Nation, July 19, 2004. 

"* Anthony Lane, review of John Ruskin: The Later Years by 
Tim Hilton, The Nexv Yorker, August 14, 2000. 

^ Henry Holiday, "The Snark's Significance," Academy, 
January 29, 1898, 128-9, reprinted in Morton Cohen, 
Lewis Carroll: Interviews and Recollections (Iowa City: 
University of Iowa Press, 1989), 221. 

** George Santayana, Interpretations of Poetry and Religion 
(New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1900), 120. 

^ Stephen Greenblatt, Will in the World: How Shakespeare 
Became Shakespeare (New York: W. W. Norton, 2004), 75. 

" Hugues Lebailly, "Charles Lutwidge Dodgson 's 

Infatuation with the Weaker and More Aesthetic Sex Re- 
examined," Dickens Studies Annual yZ (2003), 358. 


Researching Artist of Wonderland 



I recently came across some words in Paul Scott's 
series The Raj Quartet^ that seemed apropos to 
my forthcoming book on Sir John Tenniel.'^ The 
character Ronald Merrick, having undeceived some 
British officers as to the loyalty of their Indian troops, 
reflects that since "Myth breaking's a tricky business," 
his speech may have courted "a certain amount of un- 
popularity." Of course, discarding the myths attached 
to John Tenniel is hardly as earthshaking as over- 
throwing the assumptions that supported the former 
British rule in India. One bucks the conventional wis- 
dom, but is this a real worry? Why should anyone re- 
sist exchanging a boring stereotype for the infinitely 
more attractive reality? 


If not for Carroll's books, I might not have discovered 
Tenniel. But despite the Alician origin of this lifelong 
fascination, my first work on Tenniel — a disserta- 
tion — was a study of his 2,300 political cartoons for 
the journal Punch. It was my great good luck to start 
this research while Punch was still a going concern. 
This gave me unlimited access to all the letter boxes, 
letter books, account books, and diaries, to what the 
staff called the "Mad Index" (a subject listing of the 
articles and poems for the paper's first fifty years), 
and to much more in that wonderful archive. 

Compared with working on his cartoons, the 
progress of my research on Tenniel's A/fc^ pictures 
was fairly erratic, since four of my six Alice chapters 
began with chance discoveries. Assuming that every- 
thing on the subject would have already been said, I 
had inidally decided to not include Alice. In 1983, this 
resolve ended in the stacks of the Ellis Library in Co- 
lumbia, Missouri, when, leafing through a history of 
English pantomime (since Tenniel was fond of staging 
his cartoons as theatrical scenes), I was stunned to see 
an engraving from an Illustrated London Neivs review 
of December 30, 1865, that showed actors costumed 
as chess pieces. For the next week I dropped all other 
research and excitedly went through Carroll's diaries 
and letters, Tenniel's panto cartoons, and anything I 
could find on pantomime: reviews, histories, mem- 
oirs, poems. It all fit: Carroll's love of this theatrical 
form, Tenniel's depiction of the Duchess and Cook 
as "big-heads" (actors in the large papier-mache head 
masks that were worn in the pantomime opening), 
and lines in Carroll's texts. It was the first article I'd 

ever composed and certainly the fastest; it seemed to 
write itself. Like most of my pieces in Jabberxoocky, it 
dealt primarily with Carroll's texts. ^ 
With its submission to the University of Missouri 
Press, my dissertation was supposed to have closed 
my work on Tenniel. However, a few months later 
there came a favorable reader's report urging "more 
biography," "more on the Alice illustrations." As I was 
working day and night at my first year of lecturing in 
art history (before then I had enjoyed the far more 
relaxed role of a studio art teacher) , I mentally sent 
an ironic "Thanks" to the reader and continued writ- 
ing my lectures. But the idea took hold and in the fall 
of 1986, armed with a grant that would cover a year's 
research — and with plans for two more A/ic^ papers — 
I went to England.* 

Once there I soon wrote and submitted my arti- 
cle "Alice and the Countess of Buckingham," on Car- 
roll's inspiration for the pig-baby. The ensuing invita- 
tion to attend Lewis Carroll Society meetings would 
provide a delightful source of ideas throughout my 
stay in the U.K. My chapter on nursery toys was initi- 
ated by a conversation with Selwyn Goodacre when, 
after his talk on "movable" Alice books, we waited in 
line for tables at the Society's favorite Italian restau- 
rant; further ideas for this chapter came from visits to 
London's toy museums. Then there was an evening 
of recitations that included a scene from Carroll's 
early piece Guida di Bragia [KL 61]. This and a read- 
ing of Wonderland's fifth chapter, with Selwyn 's mar- 
velously inquisitorial Caterpillar, provided insights 
for my chapter on Alice and social caricature. Finally, 
in July I joined the Society's reenactment of Carroll's 
journey to Godstow — rowing up the Isis, negofiaUng 
locks, skimming past beautiful meadows. I tried to 
catch some of the sunny beauty of that day when writ- 
ing of Tenniel's trip to Henley, which had begun at 
the same Oxford boathouse. 

Glorious Research 

The historian Barbara Tuchman observed in her book 
Practicing History that research is "endlessly seductive."' 
Can it be otherwise? You discover delightful places and 
people, work in often beauuful surroundings (like 
the Duke Humfrey's library at Oxford), have precious 
manuscripts delivered to your desk, and postpone the 
tough decisions unfil the writing starts. 


Tenniel's biography, which takes up the first third 
of the book, was a particular challenge since he con- 
cealed his private life: he kept no journal; saved no 
correspondence; and, in his entire lifetime, granted 
just one interview of any length. I'd been advised 
against attempting it. As my earlier research had 
shown that even such respected sources as the Dic- 
tionary of National Biography disagreed with the public 
records, I determined to work almost wholly with pri- 
mary sources. In 1993 I received another grant and, 
recalling a suggestion that the local Mormon family 
history library might be a useful resource, I overcame 
my skepticism and went there.'' Soon I was looking 
at a computer screen that held information on the 
Tenniels quite unlike anything I'd been led to expect. 
Without the months of preparatory work in Utah be- 
fore returning overseas, there would have been no 

Parish records, censuses, wills, and rate books 
can disclose much valuable information. Where fami- 
lies lived; what they paid in rents; how they described 
themselves professionally from census to census; who 
were the household members, overnight guests, or 
other families sharing the same building; how many 
servants they had and how well they held on to their 
servants; who witnessed their weddings; what things 
they left to their heirs and even the language of the 
will: these tell a lot about a family's character and so- 
cial status. Once the basic facts are in place you can 
go to street maps, newspapers and magazines, mem- 
oirs and studies of the period to help construct the 

life — all this before the direct evidence of letters, dia- 
ries, poems, reminiscences, and so on. 

The minutiae count. I was delighted to find so 
small a thing as her mother's engagement ring of 
mixed stones in the will of Tenniel's sister, and in 
Tenniel's library a rare copy of Girard Thibault's 1628 
Academie de L'Espee, a volume so extravagant that it 
had to be financed by a French king and nine Ger- 
man princes. Contemporaneous novels can be as use- 
ful as memoirs for local information. One book of 
1887 located its main character on Portsdown Road, 
the street where Tenniel had lived for fifty-five years, 
and had a nice commentary on the character of the 
houses. I took the tolling of the Marylebone parish 
church clock from Dombey and Son. 

I suppose that biography depends to some degree 
on luck. My particular bugaboo involved imaginary 
hoards of material that might somehow be barred to 
me. In one phone conversation in 1980, I was told 
that a number of Tenniel letters had been sold in 
Paris; however, my informant was not free to divulge 
the name of the purchaser. I suffered agonies over 
this intelligence and never did find this phantom col- 
lection, although I have read approximately 270 of 
Tenniel's letters. 

Most family members are happy to share their 
materials, especially if they think you can tell them 
something about their holdings. The harder the own- 
ers are to find, the more curious and gratified they 
are when you do contact them. In one case some Ten- 
niel letters and a search through Who Was Who led 

Sir John Tenniel's last cartoon for Punch, January 2, 1901. 


me to a nice set of family papers. To connect with 
one branch of Tenniel's family, I wrote to twelve ad- 
dressees in London, enclosing copies of a family tree 
I had compiled. This led to collections in London, 
Hertfordshire, and Australia. A lady in New Zealand 
had requested to have several nineteenth-century 
members of the same family "sealed" and endowed in 
a Mormon temple, and her application papers were 
on file at the family history library in Salt Lake City. I 
wrote, and the packets of materials that she and her 
niece sent to me also led to a relative in Yorkshire — an 
ardent genealogist. In fact, I got more material than 
I could use. 

Collectors were helpful too. A collector in Bed- 
fordshire shared the papers of Pmwc/i writer E.J. Mil- 
liken, and this was extremely useful for two of my 
Punch chapters. In the files of another I found a Ten- 
niel sketch with an intriguing history that eventually 
resulted in my article in the Victorian Periodicals Review 
on the illustrated press and the republican crisis of 
the early 1870s.' All told, what you don't locate pales 
in comparison to what you do find. Besides, I'm con- 
vinced that there is a kind of synchronicity working 
in favor of serious researchers. The things you need 
seem to come to you at the right time. 

The Sites 

As my grants allowed me generous stays in England, 
there was time for site visits. This provided not only 
the corroborative details that are so important to a 
biography, but also an empathy that I think cannot 
help but show up in the writing — even when there 
is minimal description, even when the site has been 
so built over that it takes all your romantic imagina- 
tion to see it as it must have been. For example, had 
Tenniel's boyhood home been a few houses further 
east, it would be the site of the entrance to a teeming 
tube station. 

One of my London maps is marked "The Ten- 
niel Tour," recalling a bitter cold day in February on 
which I walked and rode from Bloomsbury to Camden 
Town to Marylebone and then to Maida Vale, where I 
found the heavily corniced and quoined houses that 
Tenniel would have seen from his front windows. Af- 
terwards I followed the towpath of the nearby Grand 
Union Canal, observing the colorful houseboats be- 
fore going on to Kensington. Other journeys took 
me to Regent's Park Zoo, where Tenniel found the 
models for his great animal cartoons, and to the res- 
toration mansion by Covent Garden that had once 
housed Evans's Song and Supper Rooms, a favorite 
haunt of the Punch men. 

My walks from Bloomsbury to work at Punch 
were in themselves Tenniel tours (with Dickens tours 
thrown in — at least on the days I cut through Lin- 
coln's Inn Fields and down Chancery Lane). I went 
to services at the church where Tenniel was baptized. 

visited his club — the Garrick, and saw the sort of en- 
tertainments he would have seen: Douglas Jerrold's 
Black-Eyed Susan, during which the audience alter- 
nately aahed and groaned as the melodrama pro- 
gressed; a Punch and Judy show by the London Wall; 
music hall performances at the Players' Theatre on 
Villiers Street; and extravaganzas at Christmas time. 
Then, in June, I went to the Derby and found in the 
gypsy caravans and families picnicking on the downs 
echoes of Tenniel's Derby Day cartoons. 

Research abroad had unexpected extras: visits to 
collections at chilly country homes, morning tea in 
bed brought by my host, and later a tour of a Norman 
belfry, a lunch of potted shrimp and matzo served to 
me by an earl, and an excited night trying to sleep 
in a room hung with Tenniel's paintings. And what a 
variety of people I met: Ellis Hillman, who hailed me 
with cries of "Lewis Carroll" whenever he recognized 
me — in central London, at the newspaper library at 
Colindale, and on the boardwalk at Brighton; the car- 
toonist's granddaughter, who flung messages into the 
room where I sat writing at the Penn Club; and the 
librarians whose chirpy telephone voices made con- 
stant music as I worked at Punch. 

Well, this is the initial search before laying out the 
categories of evidence, and sorting and arranging the 
pieces to see what it all adds up to. That is when you 
may discover how half-baked your thinking has been 
through all the glorious months of research. Suddenly 
some small fact (you don't even know why you wrote 
it down) ties in with another little fact and there you 
have it — the start of a whole new thesis. I can't say it 
better than Tuchman did: "This to me is the excite- 
ment, the built-in treasure hunt, of writing history." 


When it was suggested to me that I would continue 
to discover things that might be included in the book 
"right up to the last minute and beyond,"*^ I was doubt- 
ful. But the following thoughts or observations have 
occu.rred since Artist of Wonderland vf^s completed: 

The Wasp 
In the first of my Alice chapters, where I discuss 
Tenniel's contributions, I passed over his advice on 
Carroll's text. Recently, on rereading the Wasp epi- 
sode, I discovered an air of do-goodism about it that 
seems quite dissonant, for instance, with Carroll's 
parodies of five well-known moralizing poems (four 
in Wonderland SLnd one in Looking-Glass) }^ There is, of 
course, the Wasp's forced little lesson on conceit. But 
the most anomalous thing about this episode is Alice 

Carroll's answer to his own question, "WTiat wert 
thou dream-Alice, in thy foster-father's eyes?" {The 
Theatre, 1887), shows that he saw her as loving, gende, 
courteous, trustful, curious, and as existing "in the 



BY DR. CAini.L. 

How doth the ever busj wasp 
ImproTe the sLiniDg hour ; 

Hi» ODji-ct erer is to grajp 
The tweets oE fruit and flower. 

To dip hit beak into the peach, 
To pierce the ripen'd plum ; 

To tuck whatever it in reach, 
To ttiog whoe'er may cone ! 

So, children, you tliould ne'er forget 

Thit iosecl't liappy toil ; 
Before you his sample set. 

And what you can't eat, spoil. 

What, children, do yon hesitate 

To let your (.attioua lite t 
Tbote little hands of yours were n;ade 

To scratch out British eyei ! 


HUMiTY-DUMfTV t:«t Oil the wrH, 

Humpty thot the landlord ull — 
Heretic't horses, heretic's men. 
Can't let that landlord up again ! 

Sins a soni^ of sixpence about a little lie, 
DtiLBT killed an Irish child and baked it in a pie ; 
When the pie was open'd, the Qdekh for joj did^^'sing. 
And thought it just the very di&h to set before a king ! 

Hit diddie-diddle, the cat and the fiddle, 

The PoFB invented the moon ; 
The Protettants laughed, to the Vatican went, 
And bolted away with a spoon ! 

Tb« Doctor h» directed that tiM obore Khali Im eirciiltled, if mMU ot 
r««eHpt addr««i«d 10 country priest*. " Qund earmiita nunc ad vom ptr 
postum tranamitMa, apud juvtitalibus pticro*, a.; rriiao ttudio, tt HkMaw, 
tgaMurl" iSliMl) CiRll.l. 

happy hour of childhood when all is new and fair, 
and when Sin and Sorrow are but names — empty 
words, signifying nothing!"'" This speaks of inno- 
cence and spontaneity. Indeed, in Looking-Glass A\\cc 
is all that Carroll said. Instinctively, and without a 
trace of self consciousness, she assists the Tweedles 
with their "armor," tidies the White Queen's shawl 
and hair, and patiently helps the White Knight up 
from his many falls. But the child who "rather unwill- 
ingly" goes back to the Wasp and then trips down the 

hill, "quite pleased that she had gone back and given 
a few minutes to making the poor old creature com- 
fortable," seems a bit too self-satisfied for the Alice 
that we know. 

It may be that Tenniel felt this when he recom- 
mended scrapping the Wasp episode. His rise as the 
half-century's leading cartoonist was in large part due 
to his ability to set the right tone. When a friend sug- 
gested a cartoon to promote a charitable cause to 
which Tenniel himself had always been sympathetic, 
he declined on the grounds that, "a merely conven- 
tional, prosaic, 'goody-goody' sort of rendering of 
course would not do for Punch "^^ Perhaps he thought 
that it would not do for Alice either. 

Punch m Alice 
Years ago when questioned about the influence of 
the Alice books, I unintentionally raised some laugh- 
ter from my dissertation committee by saying that 
I thought there was more Punch in Alice thdin there 
was Alice in Punch. But the statement is true. Carroll 
was a dedicated Punch reader, and this surfaces in his 
writing. He submitted three poems to the paper that, 
while not on politics, adopted the parodic form often 
used by Punch for its political satire. Since finishing 
my book, I came across some verses in the Septem- 
ber 25, 1852, issue on a subject that would have inter- 
ested Carroll.'^ "Hymns for Children" is sarcastically 
attributed to Dr. Cahill (Daniel William Cahill, a reli- 
gious polemicist who, in letters to the Daily Telegraph, 
attacked English policies in Ireland). The "hymns" 
(illustrated by Tenniel, then in his second year on the 
paper) start with a burlesque of Isaac Watts's "Against 
Idleness and Mischief," a poem parodied by Carroll 
in the second chapter of Wonderland. The Punch ver- 
sion begins, "How doth the ever busy wasp" and con- 

What, children, do you hesitate 
To let your.passions rise? 

Those little hands of yours were made 
To scratch out British eyes! 

This is followed by three takeoffs on nursery 
rhymes, the first being "Humpty-Dumpty," who is pic- 
tured as an Irish insurgent: 

Humpty-Dumpty sat on the wall, 

Humpty shot the landlord tall — 

Heretic's horses, heretic's men. 

Can't set the landlord up again! 

I find it a fascinating possibility that this spin-off 
of Anglo-Irish history may have played a part in in- 
spiring the innocent rhymes and characters of Alice. 

' Paul Scott, The Towers of Silence in The Raj Quartet (New York: 
William Morrow, 1976), 146. The Quartet W2is initially 


published as The Jewel in the Cmwn (London: Heinemann, 
1966), The Day of the Scorpion (London: Heinemann, 1968), 
The Towers of Silence (London: Heinemann, 1971), and A 
Division of the Spoils (London: Heinemann, 1975). 

Frankie Morris, Artist of Wonderland: The Life, Political 
Cartoons, and Illustrations ofTenniel (Charlottesville: University 
of Virginia Press, forthcoming 2005). 

Frankie Morris, "Alice and King Chess," Jabbenvocky (Autumn 
1983), 75-90. The expanded version in my book discusses 
Tenniel's pictures in greater detail, enlarges the pantomime 
connection, and includes material from my 1993 talk to the 
Lewis Carroll Society in London. 

The two papers were: "Alice and the Countess of 
Buckingham," Jabberwocky (Autumn 1985), 77-83; and "Alice 
and the Eglinton Tournament," talk presented to the Lewis 
Carroll Society, London, 1987. 

Barbara Tuchman, Practicing History (New York: Knopf, 
1981), 21. 

The records at the family history libraries are part of the vast 
and ongoing program of the Mormons to identify people of 
all faiths and times and to baptize them by proxy into their 
church. For example, the baptisms for Charles Lutwidge 
Dodgson were accomplished on August 1, 1984, Provo, Utah; 
August 27, 1988, Provo, Utah; and August 25, 1992, Seatde, 
Washington. {Ordinance Index) . 

Frankie Morris, "The Illustrated Press and the Republican 

Crisis of 1871-72," Victorian Periodicals Review 2b (Fall 1992): 

Alan White, e-mail message to author. May 26, 2004. 

The five moralizing poems are: Isaac Watts, "Against Idleness 
and Mischief; David Bates, "Speak Gently"; Isaac Watts, "The 
Sluggard"; Robert Southey, "The Old Man's Comforts"; and 
William Wordsworth, "Resolution and Independence." 

Lewis Carroll, "'Alice' on the Stage," The Theatre, n.s., 9 (April 
1887), quoted in Charles C. Lovett, Alice on Stage (Weslport, 
Conn.: Meckler, 1990), 210-11. 

John Tenniel to Lewis Carroll, June 1, 1870, and Tenniel's 
comment "a wasp in a wigis altogether beyond the appliances 
of art," both in Stuart Dodgson CoUingwood, The Life and 
Letters of Lewis Carroll (London: T. Fischer Unwin, 1899) 
147-9, 146. See John Tenniel to A. W. Mackenzie, August 26, 
1876, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, Austin, 

The parodies that Carroll submitted to Punch are "The Dear 
Gazelle," "The Palace of Humbug," and "Atalanta in Camden 
Town" (the last was accepted and appeared in the July 27, 
1867 issue). See "Hymns for Children," Punch, or The London 
Charivari, September 25, 1852, 142, at right. 

3n iMemoriam 

Giles Hart 

1950-July 7, 2005 
Giles Hart, 55, a "champion of liberty and human rights," who helped Lech 
Walesa deliver Poland from totalitarian rule, was among the victims of the 
London bus bombing on July 7. On the day of his death he was due to give a 
lecture on "the lesser-known works of Lewis Carroll" to the Havering branch 
of the Humanist Society, of which he was vice-chairman. 


^ H^^^ 

Tuuenty-First-Century Vieuus of Dodgson's Voting Method, Part 2 



In Part 1 of this article, published in the Knight 
Letter in 2004 (73:26-27), I reported on Thomas 
Ratliffe's recent analysis of Dodgson's 1876 vot- 
ing method, in articles based on the work of Donald 
Saari. Also discussed was Partha Dasgupta and Eric 
Maskin's article describing what they consider to be 
the fairest possible voting method. 

This second part centers on recent analysis of 
"Condorcet Social Choice Functions," a paper by 
the eminent social choice theorist Peter C. Fishburn, 
originally published in 1977. In this article, Fishburn 
analyzed nine Condorcet social choice (voting) func- 
tions and compared them on the basis of how well 
they satisfy a number of requisite conditions for such 
functions. These conditions include generalizations 
of Condorcet's principle: if one candidate can obtain 
a clear majority over every other candidate, then that 
majority candidate should be elected. As Fishburn 
stated, "The [Condorcet] principle embodies the 
democratic precept of rule by majority will."' One of 
the nine functions Fishburn analyzed is Dodgson's 
1876 method in which candidates are scored on the 
basis of the fewest number of changes needed in vot- 
ers' preference orders to create a simple majority 

Other methods Fishburn considered are one 
by the well-known specialist on voting theory H. P. 
Young and one that Fishburn himself constructed. 
Young's function is also based on altered profiles of 
candidates who lose to no other candidate under sim- 
ple majority. But rather than inverting preferences, 
as Dodgson does, Young deletes them to obtain the 

altered profiles. Fishburn's method is based on the 
transitive idea that if everyone who beats candidate x 
also beats candidate y under simple majority compari- 
sons, and if x beats (or ties) another candidate who 
beats y, then x is "better than" y. Fishburn's method is 
a homogeneous variant of Dodgson's. 

In 2003, Jorg Rothe and his colleagues H. Spak- 
owski and J. Vogel proved that the winner-and-rank- 
ing problem for Young's function is complete for the 
class of problems P that are solvable in polynomial 
time (a classification employed in computer science to 
indicate problems that can be computed efficiently) 
using parallel access to NP, that is, all the queries nec- 
essary to solve these problems can be asked in parallel 
where A^P denotes the class of problems that are ap- 
parently not in P, but have efficient nondeterministic 
algorithms for their solution. Rothe was one of the 
authors of a 1997 paper in which analogous results 
were proved for Dodgson's 1876 voting method.'-^ 

Rothe, Spakowski, and Vogel also proved that 
Fishburn's method can be solved efficiently using 
linear programming, which deals with optimizing a 
linear expression when it is subject to constraints that 
are linear equations or linear inequalities.'' 

Peter C. Fishburn, "Condorcet Social Choice Functions," 
Sf AM Journal of Applied Mathematics 33, no. 3 (1977): 469. 
Francine F. Abeles, The Political Pamphlets and Letters of Charles 
Lutwidge Dodgson and Related Pieces (New York: LCSNA, 2001), 

Jorg Rothe, et al., "Exact Complexity of the Winner Problem 
for Young Elections," Theory of Computing Systems 36, no. 4 
(2003): 375-86. 


leaves fnom 
The Deaneny Ganden 


I was very pleased with the pre- 
sentation of my Furniss article 
[KL74:14]. I hadn't known that 
Furniss also illustrated an Alice. I'll 
have to look up that issue of KL 
[59] and take a look at the com- 
ments there. 

I enjoyed also the articles on 
Russian Alices, Addinsell's music, 
the Fresno gathering, the addi- 
tional S&fB reviews, the tributes to 
Hilda Bohem and the reprint of 
her article on sliding into collect- 
ing. Regarding Linda Sunshine's 
characterization of Carroll's 
verse — it's probably a safe bet 
that both Shel Silverstein and Dr. 
Seuss were Carroll fans and that 
Carroll would have enjoyed their 
work, given the opportunity. A 
minor correction on a Fresno 
footnote — the Kerlan Collection 
of Children's Literature didn't 
change cities when it moved west 
of the Mississippi. Although the 
river marks the boundary between 
Minneapolis and Saint Paul, the 
boundary doesn't do as much 
curving around as the river does, 
so they're not the same at all 
points. The story goes that the 

tract by the river's east bank where 
the university was going to be 
(and was) built originally would 
have been part of Saint Paul, but 
the two cities cut a deal, and Saint 
Paul got to be the state capital, 
while the university, although 
east of the river, was part of Min- 
neapolis. So when the university 
expanded to run on both sides of 
the river, and the Kerlan moved 
west, there was no change of city 
involved. It's sort of a Tweedledum 
and Tweedledee problem. 

Ruth Berman 


In my article on Addinsell's Alice 
score, I used his setting of the 
toast to Queen Alice as an ex- 
ample of music so persuasive as to 
belie the nonsense of the words, 
saying that it "seems like a rousing 
old drinking song of folk origins, 
in which 'with thirty times three' is 
no zanier than 'with a derry down 

In an EUery Queen novel, 
of all places (A Fine and Private 
Place, 1972), I recently learned 
that I could not have chosen 

a poorer example. Citing 
instances of the role of the 
number "nine" in folklore, 
EUery tells his father, "To this 
day, we drink a toast to people of 
exceptional merit with a 'three- 

Via Google I find that peo- 
ple are indeed still drinking 
toasts "with three times three 
cheers." No doubt Martin Gard- 
ner did not annotate the last lines 
of the "Queen Alice" choruses 
because he assumed that every- 
one already knew the traditional 
"times three" toast. Ah, everyone 
but I. Sorry. 

Gary Brockman 

Knight Letter rea.ders may be inter- 
ested to know that the "comments, 
corrections, and updates page" [to 
Lewis Carroll: In His Own Account 
(KL 74:44)] is now online at www. 
html. This will be an ongoing facil- 
ity, so you may like to bookmark 
the page. 

We would be very pleased to 
hear of any additional information 


that could throw more light on 
the names and organizations that 
appear in Lewis Carroll's bank ac- 
count, particularly of course those 
that we have not been able to trace 
up to now. We will post relevant 
new information, errata, and other 
useful comments, and will try to 
have new comments up within a 
week of receipt. The email address 
If you make a contribution, please 
say if and how you wish to be cred- 
ited if the information is used. 

Jenny Woolf 


I'm immensely pleased by the 
Knight Letter and immensely grati- 
fied to be part of it. 

I have a recollection of read- 
ing in KL — perhaps in KL 42 — of 
a member's once asking Douglas 
Adams on the fly if his using 42 as 
"the answer" in A Hitchhiker's Guide 
to the Galaxy was inspired by Lewis 
Carroll's interest in the number. 
As I recall, the member received 
a brusque, even disgusted, denial 
from the irritated author. 

Gary Brockman 

'Twasn't </ig Knight Letter. With the 
release of the film, it was inevitable 
that the connection be mentioned. For 
those not in the know, according to 
the Hitchhiker's Guide, research- 
ers, taking the form of mice, which are 
actually three-dimensional profiles of a 
pan-dimensional, hyper-intelligent race 
of beings, construct Deep Thought, the 
second-greatest computer of all time 

and space, to calculate the answer to 
the Ultimate Question. After seven and 
a half million years of pondering the 
question. Deep Thought provides the 
answer: "forty-two. " 

Since the original broadcast as a 
radio series in 1978, fans of Adams 
and Carroll have ofien hoped for a 
connection. However, on November 2, 
1 993, Douglas Adams made the fol- 
lowing post on 
"The answer to this is very simple. It 
was a joke. It had to be a number, an 
ordinary, smallish number, and I chose 
that one. Binary representations, base 
thirteen, Tibetan monks are all com- 
plete nonsense. I sat at my desk, stared 
into the garden and thought '42 will 
do. ' I typed it out. End of story. " 

However, the original series was 
divided into twelve "Fits " deliberately 
in the manner of The Hunting of 
the Snark. 

I confess I had a very strange 
feeling as I read Isakova's article 
[ "Any a, Aleesah, andAl'ka: The 
Metamorphoses of Alice in Russian, " 
KL 74:1] — as if things were ap- 
pearing and then immediately 
disappearing in front of my eyes! 
Call it the "Cheshire Cat smile" 
effect if you like! To explain what 
I mean I shall give only a couple 
of examples from my own transla- 
tion, which Isakova quotes. She 
reproaches me for "presenting 
only three of the four types of 
cards" while describing the royal 
procession in "The Queen's Cro- 
quet-Ground." Not relying upon 
my memory, I looked it up in the 

first edition of my translation, 
which appeared in Sofia in 1967 
(see Isakova's footnote 2), and lo 
and behold! all /owr suits are there, 
even the little dears with tambou- 
rines in their hands (page 85). She 
then takes exception to the name 
Quasi-Turtle which appears in my 
translation — I look again and 
find... it is simply not therel In fact, I 
gave the Mock-Turtle a completely 
different name in that edition, and 
later I took the trouble to explain 
how and why I did it, in a 1994 
article for the Harvard Library Bul- 
letin. Those who are interested in 
reading it may learn a few things 
about my methods of translation, 
why I never called the Mad Hatter 
a/a/head, for instance, etc., etc. 
Isakova mentions this article and 
its Russian variant in footnote 32, 
so I presume she must have read 
at least one or the other. 

And then it suddenly dawned 
on me! Isakova was using a much 
later version published in Moscow 
in 1978 (she mentions a 1991 
reprint in footnote 2), without 
realizing that there is an enor- 
mous difference between the two 
editions. In my article on Russian 
translations of the two Alicehooks, 
I tell the story of the two transla- 
tions that I made. The first was 
published in Sofia in 1967 at the 
time when there existed a practice 
of having Russian books printed 
in so-called People's Democracies, 
subsequently sending them to the 
USSR to be sold at specialized 
"Friendship" shops. That edition 

MUTTS Patrick McDonnell 


"AUCE IN wonderland" 

mm »>«« uroJbrfft^^, 




/ HOLE? 






w » w« M' 0'gU>wimf 


S 19 


was meant /or children alone and 
did not have any commentaries 
(though I did write a preface for 
it) . The second translation ap- 
peared in Moscow in 1978 with 
Martin Gardner's extensive com- 
mentaries — a fact that called for 
a complete reworking of the text. 
As a result a number of things 
(names, poems, puns, etc.) had to 
be changed. It was great fun work- 
ing on that new variant oi Alice\ I 
describe it in detail in the article 
mentioned above, and the natural 
thing for anybody writing about 
my translation would have been to 
compare the two editions. 

Isakova does not do that, but in- 
stead engages upon some strange 
practices. She takes two perfectly 
ordinary consecutive sentences, 
counts the number of syllables in 
them and pronounces the transla- 
tion "ponderous." The two sen- 
tences, in fact, are very energetic 
orders: "Rebuke her! Cut off her 
head, to begin with!" Of course, as 
everybody knows, the Russian lan- 
guage does not have as many short 
words as English, but in these two 
sentences the longest words do 
not exceed three syllables, which I 
believe to be quite acceptable. To 
demonstrate the "ponderousness" 
of the translation other methods 
could be used. Why not add a few 
more sentences and 

count the number of syllables, and 
then reduce the answer to shillings 
and pence? Surely that would be 
more spectacular. 

Incidentally, while looking 
at these two sentences I noticed 
another thing which should, per- 
haps, be mentioned. Isakova seems 
to think that the Russian phrase 
vzyat ' V oborot, which I used, means 
"to take care of," while all diction- 
aries of Russian suggest "to re- 
buke, to reprimand, to reproach." 

Sometimes Isakova general- 
izes. She thinks, for instance, that 
Demurova's "way of translation 
is distant from the Russian read- 
ers" because "Russian readers are 
not used to restrained, polite, 
conscious little girls like Alice in 
children's books." Of course Alice 
is unique, and that is, I think, one 
of the reasons for her undying 
popularity, but I would not sum 
her up as just "restrained, polite, 
and conscious." She is much more 
than that, and that is exactly why 
"today's wonder-world needs 
Alice" as W. H. Auden put it. 

As to being "distant" from the 
Russian readers, why take it upon 
oneself to speak for them? That 
reminds me of the Soviet publish- 
ers of the recent past who always 
knew what Soviet children liked or 
disliked. I remember one of them 
demanding that I remove from 
my translation of Barrie's Peter Pan 
and Wendy the little servant Liza 
("who swore that she would never 

see ten again") because the So- 
viet children hate to see children 
exploited! Isakova could have 
learned from the Russian Book 
Board that that "distant" transla- 
tion has been printed in millions 
of copies and comes out again and 
again. (I only wish translators were 
paid properly in Russia!) 

But, I believe, I must end here. 

Nina Demurova 


All I want to say in my defense 
is that, being childishly logical, 
I thought that the most recent 
translation meant the best one, 
which is why I wrote only about 
Demurova's latest translation (as 
was clearly pointed out in footnote 
2). It's true that "the Multiplica- 
tion Table doesn't signify," but still 
it's one of many ways to count the 
plusses and minuses of a transla- 
tion. One more thing: I can speak 
on behalf of Russian readers just 
on the simple ground of being one. 
It's a well known fact that the Alice 
books are somewhat "distant" (I 
confess that my choice for words 
is far from being perfect) , even to 
contemporary English children, as 
the books are so deeply rooted in 
Victorian culture. That's why Zak- 
hoder's child-oriented paraphrase 
seems to me to be "closer" for 
contemporary Russian children. 

Maria Isakova 





Ravings f:ROW ihe Wviimg Desk 


As you read earlier, the spring meeting at the im- 
pressive main branch of the New York PubHc Library 
was a great success, with very good attendance. We 
want to send our special thanks to the staff of the 
NYPL, especially Isaac Gewirtz and Kathryn Laino, 
for making available the Board of Trustees room for 
our meeting, a grand space indeed, and for sharing 
some of the more treasured Lewis 
Carroll items from their important 
collection. Janet Jurist also deserves 
thanks for arranging the meeting 
and the great lunch at O'Casey's. I 
also want to thank Morris Grossman 
and Monica Edinger for providing 
us with insightful and very enjoy- 
able talks. Personally, I had a great 
time putting together my own talk 
on "Lewis Carroll's Nyctograph and 
Square Alphabet." These subjects 
are often listed in inventories of 
Carroll's inventions, but rarely given 
more space than the name itself. 

In the all-good-things-must- 
come-to-an-end category, we were 
faced with increased costs for the 
Society's business, and so for the 
first time in close to 20 years, we 

raised membership dues, from $20 to $25. 1 trust you 
will understand this slight adjustment and be happy 
that we will be able to continue the Knight Letter and 
other benefits of membership without interruption. 

The Society has now consolidated its inventory 
of surplus books, a whopping 1,500 pounds of them. 
One of the consequences of consolidation is storage 
and, unfortunately, storage fees. We 
will be starting a program to reduce 
our inventory soon by offering these 
books to members at very (very) 
reasonable prices. What is left will 
be offered for sale through the Soci- 
ety's Web site. 

This edition is reaching you 
about the time of our fall meeting in 
Des Moines. I hope to see my Carroll 
friends again in the Midwest, but in 
any event please mark your calen- 
dars now for March 31st and April 
1st, 2006, when we will meet in Los 
Angeles at the University of South- 
ern California and the Huntington 
Library. A wonderfully scholarly set 
of events is being planned around 
our visit. 


She Smelled of Honey 

She speaks with sweetness. She 
must have a honeycomb in her 
mouth. And her sentences are so 
geometric and well ordered — with 
that economy of hexagons pressed 
one against another — that when I 
come close to her head I hear the 
sound of mental bees. The morn- 
ings, cool and sunny, give her 
cheeks a coloring of rosy cloud, 
so softly lighted from within they 
seem touched by the presence of 
time. For the hours play their light 
there: complexion of light, blue 
light in her eyes. She brings a sky 
of her own. At her side everything 
I have joins like a bouquet of flow- 
ers I lift into the air to offer her. 
All the same, as in the backwards 
world of Through the Looking-Glass, 
I already feel the pain of the sting 
she has not yet given me. Someday, 
heartsick, I will remember: "She 
smelled of honey." 

Enrique Anderson Imbert 
The Cheshire Cat 

Argentine-bom Enrique Anderson Im- 
bert (1910-2000) is a much honored 
master storyteller and teacher (Professor 
of Hispanic-American Literature at 
Harvard). His tales fcasos j appear 
in such works as the above (El gato 
de Cheshire [1965], tr. Isabel Reade 
[1982]) andThe Other Side of 
the Mirror (El grimorio [1 961], tr. 
Isabel Reade [1966]). 


The Neiu York Times Book Review, Feb- 
ruary 20, 2005, printed the com- 
plete introduction by Susan Sontag 
to the English-language transla- 
tion of Under the Glacier by Halldor 
Laxness, translated by Magnus 
Magnusson (Vintage, 2005). The 
introductory essay, which was writ- 
ten shortly before Sontag's death 
in December 2004, here titled "A 
Report on the Journey," makes sev- 
eral references to Lewis Carroll. 
"The long prose fiction called the 
novel, for want of a better name," 
she begins, "has yet to shake off the 
mandate of its own normality as 
promulgated in the 19th century: 
to tell a story peopled by characters 
whose options and destinies are 
those of ordinary, so-called real life. 
Narratives that deviate from this ar- 
tificial norm and tell other kinds of 
stories, or appear not to tell much 
of a story at all, draw on traditions 
that are more venerable than those 
of the 19th century.... It seems 
odd to describe Gulliver's Travels 
or Candide or Tristram Shandy or 

Jacques the Fatalist and His Master or 
Alice in Wonderland or Gershenzon 
and Ivanov's Correspondence From 
Two Corners or Kafka's The Castle 
or Hesse's Steppenwolf or Woolf's 
The Waves or Olaf Stapledon's Odd 
John or Gombrowicz's Ferdydurke or 
Calvino's Invisible Cities or, for that 
matter, porno narrative, simply 
as novels. To make the point that 
these occupy the outlying precincts 
of the novel's main tradition, spe- 
cial labels are invoked." She here 
lists "science fiction," "tale, fable, 
allegory," "philosophical novel," 
"dream novel," among other labels. 
Perhaps thinking of Wonderland, 
she writes, "One tradition proposes 
a physical place of entry — a cave 
or a tunnel or a hole — which leads 
to a freakish or enchanted king- 
dom with an alternative normal- 
ity." Speaking of science fiction 
as an allegorical quest, she writes, 
"He — for it is always a he — stands 
for humanity as apprenticeship, 
since women are not thought to 
be representative of human be- 
ings in general but only of women. 
A woman can represent Women. 
Only a man can stand for Man or 
Mankind — everybody. Of course, a 
female protagonist can represent 
The Child — as in Alice in Wonder- 
land — but not the Adult." 


Mike Peters, Mollin Iioom' luul (tiiun 


The Auctioned Wasp 

Matt Demakos 

On April 27, I attended The Nor- 
man and Cynthia Armour Col- 
lection of Fine Children's Books 
auction at Christie's East in New 
York. Their daughter, Courtney 
Armour Regan, — who, a few days 
later, attended the lunch at our 
spring meeting — had put the col- 
lection up for auction. For Car- 
rollians, the main attraction was 
the corrected proofs to the "Wasp 
in a Wig" episode, originally pur- 
chased at Sotheby's in 1974. Other 
attractions were a rare presenta- 
tion copy of The Wonderful Wizard 
of Oz by L. Frank Baum and some 
original Winnie the Pooh drawings 
by Ernest Shepard. The former 
contained a tipped-in letter from 
Baum thanking the recipient for 
referring to his book as the "New 
Wonderland" in a review. Other 
Carroll items included a Look- 
ing-Glass inscribed to Georgina 
Martin, who played Alice in Savile 
Clark's dream play, and a Sylvie 
and Bruno inscribed to Ellen Terry. 

I was privileged to sit next to 
Courtney during the proceedings. 
We had met the day before at the 
pre-auction party, and had spoken 
on the phone a few times. She had 
been a great help on my "Authen- 
tic Wasp" article {KL 72:15), clear- 
ing up the question of the galleys' 
margin sizes by photographing 
them for me. Immediately after 
the galleys sold for $50,000 (the 
pre-fee price), her wordless com- 
munication to me — an affected 
sigh and flop of the hand — indi- 
cated her disappointment that 
they sold only at the low end of 
the $50,000-170,000 estimate. The 
gesture was more for my benefit 
than for her bank account. 

After the auction, surprised 
that some mere books, some with 
inscriptions, sold for as much as 
$32,000, only slightly less than the 
figure for the more intriguing gal- 
leys, we spoke to some dealers who 
had bid on many items. Their view 
was that the item was 


0^ ^'^c) ^ 

came to be in the British Library. 
It can be ordered through their 
Online Bookshop at or 
the enclosed flyer. £15. 

not a famous enough name, lack- 
ing the more collectible "Alice." 
The piece itself doesn't even have 
the Through the Looking-Glass title 
exactly, and "The Wasp in a W^ig" 
is not an attention-getting item in 
any non-CarrolIian collection. No 
matter how important the item 
may be, "oddities" do not do well 
at auctions. In fact, none of their 
clients showed much interest in 
the piece, and the item quickly 
moved to phone bidders. The 
dealers explained that many col- 
lectors prefer rare books or signed 

All in all, it was a great pleasure 
meeting Courtney and I smiled 
to her when someone estimated 
that she had netted over a million 
dollars. That was for her benefit, 
not mine. 

The Digital Underground 

Alice's Adventures under Ground now 
joins the Lindisfarne Gospels, the 
Diamond Sutra, Mercator's Atlas 
of Europe, and a dozen others in 
the British Library's "Turning the 
Pages" online gallery of digitized 
manuscripts at 
egallery/ttp/ttpbooks.html. The 
Flash application allows you to 
turn the pages of the complete 
manuscript, magnify them, or 
listen to famed British stage-and- 
screen actress Miriam Margolyes 
read the story while the pages turn 

One can also purchase a CD- 
ROM version, which includes the 
above features, a bookmark sys- 
tem, and a short film entitled The 
Original Alice, which provides his- 
torical background on the story's 
creation and how the manuscript 


Bentley's Rolls 

John Hadden forwarded to us 
a photocopy of a mystery story, 
"Trent and the Mystery of the Min- 
istering Angel," involving Philip 
Trent, Edmund Clerihew Bentley's 
brilliant detective. The crucial 
piece of evidence, unearthed by 
means of much classical scholar- 
ship, had to do with the Bellman's 
map in the Snark. 

Originally appearing in The 
Strand, November 1938, the story 
has been reprinted in Ellery Queen's 
Mystery Magazine, September 1943; 
Alfred Hitchcock 's Mystery Magazine, 
December 1982; Detective Stories 
from The Strand, ed. Jack Adrian 
(Oxford University Press, 1991); 
and Murder at Teatime, ed. Cynthia 
Manson (Signet 1996). 


Ecco Falls Echo Falls 

Down the Rabbit Hole: An Echo Falls 
Mystery by Peter Abrahams (Laura 
Geringer, 2005). 

"Welcome to Echo Falls, home of 
a thousand secrets, where Ingrid 
Levin-Hill, super sleuth, never 
knows what will happen next. 
Ingrid is in the wrong place at the 
wrong time. Or at least her shoes 
are. Getting them back means 
getting involved in a murder in- 
vestigation rivaling those solved 
by her idol, Sherlock Holmes, and 
Ingrid has enough on her plate 
with club soccer, school, and the 
plum role of Alice in the Echo 
Falls production of Alice in Won- 
derland. But much as in Alice's 
adventures down the rabbit hole, 
things in Ingrid's small town keep 
getting curiouser and curiouser. 
Her favorite director has a serious 
accident onstage (but is it an ac- 
cident?), and the police chief is 
on Ingrid's tail, grilling her about 
everything from bike-helmet law to 
the color of her cleats. Echo Falls 
has turned into a nightmare, and 

Ingrid is determined to wake up. 
Edgar Award-nominated novelist 
Peter Abrahams builds suspense as 
a smart young girl finds that her 
small town isn't nearly as safe as it 
seems." (Ages 9-12). 

The Elements of Murder 

Gary Brockman 

The Elements of Murder hy ]o\\n 
Emsley (Oxford University Press, 
2005) is a "history" of toxic ele- 
ments such as arsenic, antimony, 
lead, and thallium. Within the sec- 
tion on mercury is a chapter titled 
"Mad Cats and Mad Hatters: Ac- 
cidental Mercury Poisoning." On 
page 52 one reads: "Some trades 
are notorious for the effect the 
mercury has on those engaged in 
them and it was among hat makers 
that it was particularly noticeable, 
witness the condition known as 
'hatters' shakes' in the UK and 
'Danbury shakes' in the USA. The 
town of Danbury, Connecticut, was 
the center of the American hat in- 
dustry, while in the UK it centered 
on Stockport in Cheshire, where 
there is now a Hat Works Museum. 
... At one time, about 40% of 
the fur cutters in the hat trade 
were affected by chronic mercury 
poisoning, and they showed the 
classical symptoms of mercury 
poisoning: always irritable, para- 
noid about being watched, talking 
incessantly, and prone to irrational 
behavior, so much so that the old- 
fashioned phrase 'mad as a hatter' 
was thought to have derived from 
their behavior." (Though Cheshire 
was the capital of mad hatters, the 
"mad cats" in the heading refers 
to cats eating high-mercury fish in 
Japan in 1952.) 


Bachelier of Arts 

Joel Birenbaum 

For many of us the next collectible 
edition of the Alice books is what- 
ever is the next edition published. 
Others of us have a compulsion to 
own every single 

edition, no matter how impossible 
that is. For those of us, or should 
I say you, who are more discrimi- 
nating in their collecting, I still 
have the answer to the question. 
The next collectible Alice is the 
edition being published by CFM 
Gallery, which features the distinc- 
tive fantasy art of Anne Bachelier. 
The book contains Wonderland and 
Looking-Glass and comes in several 
forms, from standard cloth wraps 
($35), through "deluxe" ($75) and 
leatherette ($225) to a limited edi- 
tion, bound in leather, numbered, 
with an original piece of artwork 
included ($3,000-$l 5,000). There 
is something to suit everyone's 

Ms. Bachelier is a quite talented 
artist; compared to some of her 
other fantasy work, this is perhaps 
more down to earth. The wispi- 
ness of her characters gives them 
a dreamlike quality, which suits 
the books perfectly. She uses color 
to great advantage, setting a tone 
with her backgrounds and then 
emphasizing a character with a 
burst of bright color. When I look 
at the total suite of paintings (or 
computer images of the paintings 
to be precise), it has the feel of 
a ballet. You don't have to take 
my word for it, you can look at 
the Web site and see for yourself 
( . 
You will also notice that there will 
be a Mad Hatter's Tea Party at the 
gallery in New York on October 
15. Of course you will all be at the 
LCSNA meeting in Des Moines on 
that day and will have to send your 
regrets. You will also notice that 
there are prepublication prices 
posted. Those prices are for mere 
mortals. I have obtained special 
prices for the LCSNA, which are 
lower still. The owner of CFM 
Gallery is a collector himself and 
understands how important it is 
that the right people get copies of 
this book. The final price will be 
determined once we know postage 
costs. If you are interested in get- 
ting a copy of this wonderful book, 
contact me: joelbirenbaum® or by calling (630) 


A Map of Misreading 

Sandor Burstein 

Harold Bloom, Sterling Professor 
of Humanities at Yale and Berg 
Professor of English at NYU, this 
era's Critic of Critics, published a 
study of poets and poetry in 1975. 
It was called A Map of Misreading, a 
title possibly more appropriate to 
a newly published study of Vladi- 
mir Nabokov's works, particularly 

Joanne Morgan, an Australian 
social worker, has just released her 
first book. Solving Nabokov 's Lolita 
Riddle (Sydney, Cosynch Press, 
2005, AU$29.95). Her main thesis 
is that "Nabokov the Magician" 
inserted a "riddle" to be solved in 
his books. Using intense scholar- 
ship, she derives from misprints, 
asides in published interviews, 
and a vivid imagination the theory 
that there are hints in Lolita, Speak 
Memory, and his translation of Eu- 
gene Onegin which, added together, 
proclaim a long history of sexual 
abuse of the author by his Uncle 

Her research has apparently 
been intense. The bibliography 
alone at the end of her book com- 
prises twenty-five closely printed 
pages. There are appendices and 
even a referral to her Web site 
( There are 
chapters devoted to the insidious 
influence of Shirley Temple's films 
on Nabokov and an entire gen- 
eration of reader/ viewers. But of 
most interest is her insistence that 
"Nabokov engaged Lewis Carroll 
in a symbolic 'chess duel' whose 
central aim was to protect the 
child (the pawn) against the mo- 
lesting intentions of the knight." 

Chapter 2 of the book, "The 
Road to Lolita," is devoted to 
Charles Dodgson: it begins with a 
few bald statements. "As a young 
man Nabokov developed a deep 
fascination with the Dodgson/Car- 
roll double act. In this chapter I 


present the scant, but nonetheless 
compelling, evidence which sup- 
ports the conclusion that Nabokov 
engaged in a long term, secretive 
investigation of Dodgson's private 
life. I believe this project began 
early on in Nabokov's life, perhaps 
as early as his student days at Cam- 
bridge University." [Italics mine, 

Ms. Morgan continues with a 
fairly straightforward biographical 
sketch of Dodgson's life. How- 
ever, soon her imagination goes 
out of control and she interprets 
Carroll's "dodgy" letters to some 
child-friends as evidence of "plac- 
ing (them) ... under considerable 
psychological pressure." "This 
letter has a decidedly sinister 
overtone." From a playful note 
to Agnes Hull about entomology, 
Ms. Morgan extracts her query, 
"Did Carroll deliberately intend, 
I wonder, to tease Agnes with the 
anagrammatic 'insect/incest' po- 
tential of this. . .riddle?" 

The author goes on at some 
length, assuming that many of 
Dodgson's relationships with child- 
friends were terminated when 
he became sexually interested in 
them. Even his friendships with 
older women were perverse, she 
feels. She devotes pages to his 
photography of nude children, 
ascribing them to sublimations of 
his carnal desires. And on and on. 
Ms. Morgan has joined Karoline 
Leach in the pantheon of Carrol- 
lian iconoclasts. 

She quotes Nabokov, "I always 
call him Lewis Carroll Carroll 
because he was the first Humbert 
Humbert." And "Lewis Carroll 
liked little girls. I don't." Then 
she continues: at another time 
Nabokov said, "Carroll's language 
did not share any roots with mine 
. . . some odd scruple prevented 
me from alluding in Lolita to his 
wretched perversion and to those 
ambiguous photographs he took 
in dim rooms. He got away with 
it, as so many other Victorians got 
away with pederasty and nympho- 

lepsy. His were sad scrawny little 
nymphets, bedraggled and half-un- 
dressed, or rather semi-undraped, 
as if participating in some dusty 
and dreadful charade." 

That Carroll had been an influ- 
ence on Nabokov is well estab- 
lished. Ms. Morgan proposes that 
Nabokov secretly tracked down his 
letters, diaries, and other writings 
in an effort to establish an expla- 
nation for his (purported) abuse 
by his uncle in the life of another 
"pervert." Nabokov's words, in the 
quoted interviews, do not seem 
to say that he admired Carroll. 
Certainly if Nabokov had devoted 
"years" to such a project he would 
have made much more of it. Logic 
requires that he would have men- 
tioned it in his letters, conversa- 
tions, autobiographies, or even in 
passing, to discredit Carroll for 
his "perversions." If, indeed, he 
had been abused by a similar "vil- 
lain," one would think Nabokov 
would have spoken out directly, 
and specificallyjoined the crusade 
against pedophilia. Were Humbert 
Humbert, Clare Quilty, Uncle 
Ruka, and Lewis Carroll going to 
be allowed to get away with their 
"crimes"? No way! Nabokov was 
never reticent to state his views. If 
he had real evidence against his 
uncle, it seems ridiculous that he 
would have hidden it in a riddle 
that spread over three books and 
took a highly imaginative detec- 
tive to root out. It is accurate 
that Nabokov wrote, in Conclusive 
Evidence, that "when I was eight or 
nine, he [Ruka] would invariably 
take me upon his knee after lunch 
and (while the servants were clear- 
ing the table in the empty dining 
room) fondle me, with crooning 
sounds and fancy endearments." 
But this is hardly a sufficient basis 
on which to build a case for pro- 
longed and perverted activities. 

True, Nabokov loved riddles 
and games, and was capable of 
double or triple puns, acrostics, 
anagrams, and puzzles. But to take 
a word from one of his books, one 
from another, and a third from 

still another, and come up with a 
theory of sexual abuse by a par- 
ticular person is an unbelievable 
stretch. Ms. Morgan even extracts 
clues to perversion in diagrams of 
chess problems! Citing a move in 
one of Nabokov's proposed games, 
she concludes that a pawn (child) 
"will be molested by the incestu- 
ously-minded Black Knight that 
stands, poised and at the ready, 
nearby." Writing of another move 
she says "This may be Nabokov- 
speak for how a queened pawn, or 
sexually abused boy, is in danger 
of developing a pedophilic orien- 
tation as an adult." While describ- 
ing the Red Queen's opening 
move in Looking-Glass — on the dia- 
gram, it is a diagonal — she writes, 
"This move . . . could be regarded, 
a la Freud, as the equivalent of the 
phallus (i.e., the symbolic erect 
penis)." Give us a break! Please! 

By lumping together Dodgson 
and Uncle Ruka as pedophiles, 
evil abusers of children, Ms. Mor- 
gan does neither any favors. Any 
real evidence is lacking in Dodg- 
son's case, as has been demon- 
strated repeatedly. For Nabokov's 
uncle, the so-called "evidence" is 
specious at best. It does not stand 
up to careful scrutiny. 

The author's intent, to speak 
out against child abuse, is com- 
mendable. To use speculation and 
innuendo, imaginary connections 
and innocent remarks to solve a 
nonexistent "riddle" is not. Her 
energies could better have been 
spent in fighting abuse more di- 
rectly. When Ms. Morgan reverts 
to her social-worker persona at 
the end of the book and includes 
articles and essays relevant to the 
problems of abuse, she's quite 
effective. Had she concentrated 
on facts instead of fantasy, her 
contribution would have been 
much more valuable. As it stands, 
her book is a lamentable waste 
for Carrollians, Nabokovians, and 
everyone else. 



Lewis Carroll Among 
His Books 

Sarah Adams 

Taking as his starting point Jeffrey 
Stern's 1997 monograph Leivis 
Carroll, Bibliophile, Chadie Lovett's 
Lewis Carroll Among His Books (Mc- 
Farland, 2005) extends the work 
of examining what we know about 
the books that Dodgson owned 
and read, and how these may 
have inspired his own works. In 
addition to posthumous auction 
catalogs and modern-day collec- 
tions, Lovett perused Dodgson 's 
diaries and letters for mentions of 
books he read, purchased, or rec- 
ommended to friends. Lovett lists 
2,365 known books, from Edwin 
Abbott Abbott's classic Flatland: 

A Romance of Many Dimensions to 
Johann Carl Friedrich Zollner's 
Transcendental Physics, an Account of 
Experimental Investigations: From the 
Scientific Treatises (a "scientific" de- 
fense of spiritualism), with details 
about each book, author, and illus- 
trator (when applicable); whether 
Carroll mentions it by name in his 
writings; and any influences it may 
have had on him. The book also 
contains forty-two illustrations or 
so, many from the Alice parodies 
Dodgson collected. 

The list is particularly effec- 
tive in showing the wide variety of 
topics that interested him: obvi- 
ously mathematics and theology, 
but also evolution; homeopathic 
medicine; spiritualism; feminism; 
linguistics; drama; theater and 
the circus; contemporary politics 
including the "Irish Question"; 
crime and the law; eugenics; phi- 
losophy; early science fiction; phi- 

losophy; color theory; children's 
literature; and educational theo- 
ries. "The collection shows [Dodg- 
son] as a man with an open mind, 
and in this sense he followed the 
prevailing winds — ^Victorian Eng- 
land in general seems to be an 
open mind, waiting for possibili- 
ties to become reality. He owned 
books dealing with the major con- 
troversies of his day, but, whatever 
his own opinion, he usually had at 
least some writings from every side 
of an issue." 

Invaluable for Carrollian and 
Victorian researchers, but of inter- 
est to the average Carrollian as 
well, Lewis Carroll Among His Books 
is a fascinating reflection of C. L. 
Dodgson and his world. 

The Cheshire Cat perches above the Queen of H earls ' Castlt', the admission Iwoth for a storytmok park for kids, part of City 
Park in New Orleans. It is now, sadly, under several feet oj water Our hearts go out to the Inave souls of New Orkans, their 
families and friends, and all who weie affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Photo by Deina Kunin. 



, '^WW^ . 


Carrollm Notes 


A Spasm in Seven Fits 

Not one, not two, but seven feature 
films (and four featurettes) based 
on the Alice books are out or in 
the works for the next year or two. 
Hold on to your hats (and your 


In his feature debut, Alice's Mis- 
adventures in Wonderland, writer/ 
director Robert Rugan delivers a 
satirical contemporary retelling. 
"Alice Liddell is stuck in a dead- 
end corporate job ... when she is 
suddenly surprised by the appear- 
ance of a strange visitor dressed 
in all white, wearing a gas mask, 
and toting with him a book that he 
claims holds 'all the answers to all 
your life's questions.' ... Shocked, 
but intrigued, Alice's grabs her 
jacket and chases after the visitor 
into the demented world of Won- 
derland, where she discovers that 
what she is really looking for is 
change." Visit www.eatmedrinkme. 


Rocker Marilyn Manson's Phan- 
tasmagoria: The Visions O/Leivis 
Carroll, consists of four short films 
set to release on his Web site, www., this winter, 
followed by a feature film. "It's the 
visions of Lewis Carroll — in fact 
I'm playing Carroll," he says. In 
Installment One, Manson explores 
the origin of Tweedledee and 
Tweedledum. "I might add that 
the girls playing Tweedle Dee and 
Dum are twins who get to have 
real, genuine sex with each other. 
I like to make dreams come true." 

Manson has invented a new genre 
for his new breed of art: "horripi- 
lation." "It's horrifying, and it's 
depilatory," he explains. "It will 
horrify the hair off of your legs." 

Speaking of Mr. Manson, he is star- 
ring as the Queen of Hearts in Jer- 
emy Tarr's Living in Neon Dreams, 
also featuring Daryl Hannah, 
Jonathan Pryce, and Nia Vardalos, 
described as being in post-produc- 
tion. The tale is based on a girl's 
adventures in a Wonderland she 
enters after being in a car accident 
and falling into a coma. 

Bufjy the Vampire Slayers Sarah 
Michelle Cellar is attached to star 
in a feature version of the Elec- 
tronic Arts video game American 
McGee's Alice, which has sold more 
than a half-million units and has 
generated more than $12 million 
in revenue. In the game, Alice has 
grown up to become a disturbed 
young woman. After her parents 
are killed in a fire, she returns to 
a dark and threatening Wonder- 
land. The film, Alice, is set up at 
Universal Pictures, where it will be 
directed by Marcus Nispel, who 
filmed the recent update of The 
Texas Chainsaw Massacre. 


Monty Python animator and cult di- 
rector Terry Cilliam {Brazil, 1985; 
Jabberwocky, 1977; etc.) will release 
Tideland, based on Mitch Cullin's 
eccentric novel (Dufour, 2000) de- 
scribed as "a profoundly unnerv- 
ing twist" on Carroll's books. 

Gilliam "spins an alternately bliss- 
ful and hellish story of a girl in 
denial of reality, who concocts a 
rich make-believe world to escape 
an unbearable upbringing, com- 
municating mainly through her 
four bodiless Barbie doll heads." 
Jeff Bridges and Jennifer Tilly star 
as her parents. 

Frank Beddor, producer of the 
cult hit There's Something About 
Mary and author of the horrific 
The Looking-Glass Wars [KL 74:42] , 
is working on a screenplay based 
on the first novel of the projected 
trilogy. (His comic book adapta- 
tion, with art by Ben Templesmith 
and titled Hatter M, is also due out 
this yean ) 

As mentioned in our previous 
issue [AT. 74:9], screenwriter Les 
Bohem, son of the late beloved 
Hilda, seems to be moving forward 
with his plans for a movie with 
Dakota Fanning. Perhaps there is 
hope for humanity. 


Lory's Town 

"For over twenty years Dodgson 
took his annual holiday in East- 
bourne, on the English South 
Coast, finding the genteel resort 
ideal for inspirational writing. 
Even today it only has residences 
and hotels along the seafront. 
Many other resorts — the vast ma- 
jority — have amusement arcades, 
restaurants, and shops selling 
tatty souvenirs. As we are a Victo- 
rian resort we have none of these, 
and [have] a very active preserva- 
tion society. The Eastbourne Her- 


itage Centre has a new exhibit 
devoted to Lewis Carroll," write 
Harry and Pam Pope, who run a 
guest house built in 1892. They 
particularly welcome overseas 
guests, and can arrange day tours 
to Carrollian sites. Write for a free 
brochure. Loriston Guest House, 
17 St Aubyns Road, Eastbourne, 
East Sussex, BN22 7AS, UK. 
Phone: +1323 726193; loriston®; 


Alice, Revealed 

Janet Jurist 

Pat Griffin, Matt Demakos, Rich 
Wandel (my boss at the New York 
Philharmonic archives), and I 
went on Wednesday night, Feb- 
ruary 16, to the Lincoln Center 
Institute for the Arts in Educa- 
tion in New York City to see Alice 
Dawson's Alice, Revealed. The vote 
was 4-0 that the presentation was 
dreadful. 1 think that perhaps it 
might be good for kindergarten 
and first-grade children. However, 
it might give them the wrong im- 
pression of the Alice books. Daw- 
son was definitely well meaning 
in presenting some of the Carroll 
poems that have been set to music. 
Her voice was pleasant, and the 
pianist, Christine McLeavey, was 
excellent. Also the solo saxophon- 
ist who set "Beautiful Soup" did 
a great job. Soprano Alice Daw- 
son, the producer of this event, 
thought she was being clever by 
claiming at the beginning that her 
middle name was Liddell and she 
was the granddaughter or great- 
granddaughter of Alice Liddell. 
We found out later that this was 
not true. Her voice was pleasant, 
but her adoption of the manner- 
isms of the characters referred to 
in the songs was often annoying. 
The songs did not fall in any par- 
ticular order and therefore they 
had to stand by themselves. Some 
of the songs rendered were Nancy 
White/Ben McPeek's "Alice in 
Wonderland," including overture 
and prologue, "WTiite Rabbit's 
Song," and "Duchess' Sneezing 

Song"; Lee Hoiby's "Jabberwocky"; 
Keith Nelson's "Beautiful Soup"; 
and John Duke's "Lobster Qua- 
drille," "Little Crocodile," and 
"Mock Turtle's Song." I should 
comment that the best part of the 
presentation was that it was not 
too long. 

Sic, Sic, Sic 

Auctioned on eBay for $9.37 on 

"If you are uncomfortable with 
an item that has paranormal attri- 
butes, then this auction is not for 
you. You will be bidding at your 
own risk and of your own free will. 

We live in the spiritually rich 
Appalachian Mountains. . . . The 
earth and air fairly crackle with 
the spiritual essences that these 
previous travelers (knowingly or 
unknowingly) left behind. ... We 
have lived here and been collect- 
ing unusual and strange objects 
for years. Both of us were raised 
to respect religion, as well as, to 
realize that we live in light of the 
greatest teacher of all — death. 

Grace Caitlin Mathena was the 
first psychic that I ever visited.... 
[She recently] died at the age of 
93, riddled with the same type of 
cancer that her daughter had had 
one month before. Her lawyer car- 
ried out the wishes of her last will 
and testament. He mailed out sev- 
eral steamer trunks of her belong- 
ings. I got mine about six months 
after the funeral. It came with 
instructions to pass her belongings 
on once I had received the sign 
from her. ... We have been photo- 
graphing and getting everything 
ready to sell. These pieces have 
already brought so much energy 
and peace into our home that we 
look forward to learning what they 
do in other's homes. Caitlin was 
big about passing her knowledge 
along to others. She mentored a 
lot of people, and I am proud and 
honored to be offering you this 
collection of extraordinary objects 
that do not justice to such a pure 
light. Now, I can repay a little back 

to the universe for all of the gifts 
graced upon me by Caitlin. I know 
these items will make your walk 
with the light easier. 

You will be bidding on this 
unique BLOW^ LongLife 60W 
130V Bulbrite bulb. Caitlin was 
channeling the Reverend Charles 
Dodgson, also known as Lewis 
Carroll, the author of Alice in 
Wonderland, when the light bulb 
blew spectacularly, went out and 
then began to glow sofdy again. It 
glowed all throughout the seance 
until Caitlin thanked the Rever- 
end. The light bulb seems to have 
a Place Held Memory of Lewis 
Carroll. The light bulb has been 
used in other seances, and we 
have been successful in contacting 
Reverend Charles Dodgson every 
time. This light bulb does glow 
when the Reverend is present. 

This auction is a final auc- 
tion. We have tried to accurately 
describe this object. Please email 
with questions! We are not re- 
sponsible for any future activity or 
inactivity associated with this item 
in the future." 


In Our Other Lives 

Gilbert Hetherwick, who per- 
formed wonderfully entertaining 
excerpts from his Dreams of Alice 
for us in New York in the spring of 
2000 (/a 63:2), has been named 
president of Sony BMG's classical 


Chin Music 

Throughout her career, Korean 
composer Unsuk Chin (b. 1961, 
student of Gyorgy Ligeti) has 
set many Carrollian texts to her 
music, described in The Neiv 
York Times as "modal chanting, 
touches of metrical ambiguity, 
a little Sprechstimme, and fastidi- 
ous raucousness." First there was 
Akrotichon-Wortspiel {Acrostic Word- 
play), seven scenes from fairy tales, 
including Looking-Glass, which 
received its premiere in London 
in 1993, with George Benjamin 


conducting the Premiere En- 
semble. Her commissioned snagS 
and Snarls: scenes from Alice in Won- 
derland for mezzo-soprano and 
orchestra was given its first perfor- 
mance by the Los Angeles Opera 
Orchestra, conducted by Kent 
Nagano, in June of 2004, as the 
closing concert of the Ojai (Cali- 
fornia) Festival, and made its Eu- 
ropean premiere in August 2005 
at the Royal Albert Hall as part 
of the BBC Proms, conducted by 
Nagano. Four of the five songs in 
snagS &" Snarls were due to appear 
in Chin's opera Alice in Wonder- 
land, scheduled for premiere in 
Munich under Nagano's baton, 
followed by a U.S. premiere in Los 
Angeles in 2005-06 with Kristen 
Chenoweth in the title role. The 
composer is said to be co-writing 
the libretto with the playwright 
David Henry Hwang, author of 
M. Butterfly and librettist of Philip 
Glass' The Voyage and The Sound of 
a Voice. However, at this writing, 
it is not on the schedule for the 
L.A. Opera this coming season. 
Furthermore, Kent Nagano has 
announced his departure when his 
contract expires next year. Where 
this leaves the opera is unknown. 
Plans for the 2006-2007 season 
will be announced in January, 
2006. 1 can find no record of a 
Munich production. 

Black as Light 

Mark Burstein 

When I was in Prague back in 
1997, 1 was quite intrigued by a 
series of posters advertising a pro- 
duction of Alice in Wonderland by 
the Black Light Theater of Prague. 
Although I was there for an entire 
week during which there were 
several advertised performances, 
upon arriving at the theater I was 
inevitably greeted with either "It's 
been postponed until tomorrow" 
or "We just performed it yester- 
day," not unlike a certain jelly-like 
condiment. So when I saw that 
they were performing in March at 
the nearby Marin Civic Center, I 
felt pleased. Alas, to put it mildly, 
it did not travel well. 

What was perhaps a special-ef- 
fects extravaganza behind (or just 
in front of) the Iron Curtain a 
decade ago looked like an under- 
budgeted high-school production 
in today's effects-laden world. 

The first problem was the Pro- 
logue: a stripped-down, dour ver- 
sion of Gulliver's Travels, which, by 
dint of a mind-numbingly stupid 
frame story, a heavily accented, 
taped narration ("You are not the 
only one where has felt like that"), 
and an accordion-like sense of 
time (Gulliver interminably riding 
through the air), drained the life 

from the room. For the record, 
the "special" effects were a front 
scrim, a rear projector, a few black 
light objects, black-clothed per- 
formers who moved things "myste- 
riously" around, and many visible 

After intermission (we wisely 
chose new seats on the aisle across 
from the exit), Wonderland hegSLU. 
Or something: the scene portrayed 
a violin lesson with a middle-aged 
actress, in typical Alice garb, in 
front of a looking-glass, playing for 
a sleepy old woman. There was no 
dialog or narration throughout, 
but occasionally a pop-rock af- 
flatus would waft through the air. 
Eight or nine zombie White Rab- 
bits constantly bopped in and out 
of boxes. "Ballet," puppetry, mime 
and the aforementioned effects 
were there in profusion, but to 
little avail. Neither children nor 
adults seemed in the least amused. 

There's an old rule in theater 
(which I made up on the spot), 
to wit: When two or more clowns 
march onstage playing bagpipes, 
it's time to make one's exit. Which 
we did. 







Pictures and Conversations: 
Lewis Carroll in the Comics, 
An Annotated International 
Bibliography by Tannen- 
baum, Sewell, and Burstein 
{KL 72:36) is at long last 
again available, in an "up- 
dated, expanded, and re- 
numbered" second edition. 
$20 from wwvv.ivorydoor. 

For those who were unable 
to see Tatiana lanovskaia's 
illustrations at the spring meeting 
in New York, pictures from both 
books can be seen at www.proxop. 
com/alice/. Looking-Glass ($17) 
came out in 2003 {KL 72:47) and 
Wonderland ($12) this year. They 
can be ordered directly from the 
artist:; 25 
Black Hawk Way, North York ON 
Canada M2R 3L5; (416) 650-1871. 

What the Dormouse Said: How the 
60's Counterculture Shaped the Per- 
sonal Computer Industry by ]o\\n 
Markofif (Viking Adult, 2005) . 

The Genesis of Artistic Creativity: 
Asperger's Syndrom£ and the Arts by 
Michael Fitzgerald (Jessica Kings- 
ley, 2005) claims that people with 
Asperger's syndrome, a form of 
autism, can have exceptional artis- 
tic creativity as well as mathemati- 
cal genius, and names Dodgson 
among them. 

Angus Trumble's A Brief History of 
the Smile (Basic Books, 2005) has 
Guess WTio's grin on the cover. 

A single, searchable CD contain- 
ing a complete collection of 
Martin Gardner's "Mathematical 
Games" columns for Scientific Amer- 
ican (including several on Carroll) 
has been produced by the Math- 
ematical Association of America. 
Included are 15 books, and a pro- 
file and interview with the prolific 
author. $56. (800) 331-1622; w^vw. 

h ot*/^*^/j on< tents 


parody on a paper in 
game theory by Robert 
Aumann, but it may 
be of some interest to 
Lewis Carroll's fans." 
Online at www.tau. 

1 , ' 


In an interview in the Sunday New 
York Times Magazine on March 13, 
2005, Mireille Guiliano, CEO of 
Veuve Clicquot, and author of the 
phenomenally successful French 
Women Don 't Get Fat (Knopf, 2004) 
mentions owning "four photo- 
graphs made by Lewis Carroll. 
My husband found them some 25 
years ago." Her husband, Edward, 
President and CEO of the New 
York Institute of Technology, is a 
renowned Carrollian scholar, and 
was president of our Society from 
1987 to 1990. 

The Bud Plant catalog has two 
magazines of interest. IBISfournal 
1: Aspects of Illustration (Imagina- 
tive Book Illustration Society, 
London, 1999) contains a long 
article on Alice B. Woodward, 
including her 1912 Wonderland. 
Argosy Magazine #3 features a cover 
by Mark Summers depicting the 
Hatter, and consists of two vol- 
umes (the main magazine and a 
separately bound novella) in an 
illustrated slipcase. luwxu.budplant. 
com; (800) 242-6642. 

Dr. Francine Abeles' article "Lewis 
Carroll's Formal Logic" was re- 
cently published in the British 
journal History and Philosophy of 
Logic, Vol. 26, February 2005. 

An article by Dov Samet titled 
"Counterfactuals in Wonderland" 
was published in Games cmd Eco- 
nomic Behavior b\ (2005). "It is a 


Photographer Mary 
Beth Manarchy and 
costume designer Leslie Pace's 
whimsical vision of Alice can be 
seen at 

Whatever your political leanings, 
this "big head" Mad Tea Party of 
George Bush as the Hatter, Dick 
Cheney as the Cheshire Cat, and 
Donald Rumsfeld as the Queen of 
Hearts has to be seen to be be- 

Photos of George R. Anthonisen's 
bronze sculpture Alice and the ma- 
quette for the monumental work 
Tea Party are at www.ganthonisen. 
com/sculpture. htm. 

The Migraine Aura Foundation 
reprints a Reuters article reporting 
that "Migraine Hallucinations May 
Have Inspired 'Alice' Tales." www. 

Dermot Power, concept artist on 
Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, the 
Harry Potter movies. Batman Be- 
gins, and so on, shows his concept 
artwork for Hallmark Entertain- 
ment's Alice in Wonderland at www. 

"Avoid the armpits." Melissa Dye 
talks about playing Alice at Dis- 
neyland from 1997 to 2001. wwu'. 

An online exhibition using docu- 
ments held by the Family Records 
Centre (FRC) of the National Ar- 
chives of the U.K. to tell the stor)' 


of Dodgson's life through birth, 
marriage, and death certificates, 
censuses, and wills can be found at 
hibitions/ exhibitions_main.htm. 
There's also one for Ellen Terry. 

A description ("finding aid") of 
the holdings of the LCSNA ar- 
chives, which had been donated to 
the Fales Library within the Bobst 
Library of New York University, 
can be linked to from www.nyu. 
edu/library/bobst/ research/ 

You can now join the LCSNA or 
renew your membership online 
via PayPal. 

In "Serendipitous Collecting," 
Selwyn Goodacre talks about a 
lifetime of collecting Carroll, www. 
tures-a-g/goodacresOl .php. 

David McCraw's article "Pursuing 
Zhuangzi as a Rhymemaster: A 
Snark-Hunt in Eight Fits," from 
Sino-Platonic Papers, April 1995, 
is available from 
[/ have no idea if this is serious or a 
spoof. Only August might know.] 

Photographs in the upcoming 
book Alice in Central Park — Conver- 
sations with the Statues document 
the Alice sculptures as they "en- 
counter" each other, other statues 
in Central Park, and visitors to 
the park. The book will appear 
in fall 2005 as the first of a series. 

University of Texas at Austin Pro- 
fessor Jerome T. Bump had his 
English students write papers with 
CarroUian themes, and also made 
some interactive "chat rooms" 
with Mr. Dodgson. Follow the 
links at the bottom of www.cwrl. 

Conferences and Lectures 

Dr. Francine Abeles gave a paper 
entitled "The Diagrammatic Log- 
ics of Lewis Carroll and John 


Venn" at the University of Water- 
loo (Canada) on June 4, 2005. 

The network of "active and tena- 
cious collectors of Wonderland 
memorabilia" called "We're All 
Mad Here" held their second an- 
nual week-long convention, Alice 
2005, in Laguna Beach, California, 
August 3-10. This network was 
established by Sue Lieberman in 
2003 as one of eBay's Community 
Groups. The week featured visits 
to antique and art shops in which 
many one-of-a-kind collectables 
were gathered, much trading of 
duplicates, a showing oi Alice's Mis- 
adventures in Wonderland W\t\\ its 
writer/director Robert Rugan (see 
p. 30), and a trip to Disneyland, 
where a private photo opportunity 
and audience with Alice and her 
friends had been arranged for the 
jspa?forumID=l704; www.user.; 


"The Library at Wadi ben 
Dagh," an installation by M. 
L. Van Nice at the National 
Museum of Women in the Arts 
in Washington, D.C., April- 
November 6, 2005, comprises a 
reading area, librarian's office, 
and a collection that includes 
traditional and altered books as 
well as several handmade artist's 
books, among them The Hole of 
Understanding, an interpretation 
of Wonderland and Looking-Glass. 

This summer, the Caracola 
Contemporary and Latin 
American Fine Art Gallery in 
the Downtown Brewery complex 
in Los Angeles exhibited the 
Wonderland paintings of Cuban- 
born Victor Huerta. The 
paintings (20" x 32" to 36" x 52") 
retail for $3,000 to $5,000. They 
will also be made available as 
individual giclee prints, in an 
edition of 30, for a prepublication 
price of $700. Society members 
are entitled to an additional $125 
discount, bringing them to $575. 

A portfolio of 15 images will 
sell for $7,500. Contact Dermot 
Begley at 
or (626) 676-5557. Images can 
be viewed at www.caracolagallery. 
VictorHuertaGallery/ . 

The Hand Bookbinders of 
California's exhibit at UCSF's 
Kalmanowitz Library, September 
through December, featured 
Eleanor Ramsey's superb binding 
of the Cheshire Cat Press 

The Metropolitan Museum of 
Art in New York has acquired 
the Gilman Paper Company 
Collection of photographs, an 
archive that includes hundreds 
of works from the medium's 
earliest years and that is widely 
considered to be the most 
important private photography 
collection in the world, according 
to the New York Times, March 
17, 2005. The more than 8,500 
photographs, valued in excess of 
$100 million, include nineteenth- 
century masterworks such as 
Dodgson's "Alice as Beggar- 


In March, the Atlantic Theatre 
Company in NYC presented a 75- 
minute Alice's Adventures as part of 
their "Atlantic for Kids" series. 

The Golden Gate Geographic 
Society's 2005-2006 travel-film 
series runs from Oct. 31 through 
April 22 at a host of San Francisco 
Bay Area venues. Literary England 
visits the homes of authors such 
as William Shakespeare, Jane 
Austen, and Lewis Carroll. It 
will play on January 23, 2006, 
in Mountain View (CA). www. 
travelfilms . org/ ggate . h tml . 

The world premiere of Robert 
Arnold Halls' opera Mrs. Carroll's 
Alice (KI. 73:36-37) took place at 
the Randall Museum Theater in 
San Francisco in April. 



One winner in the 2005 Annual 
Design Review from I.D., "the 
International Design Magazine," 
July/ August 2005 was a bit surpris- 
ing: Drink Me Vodka. "Asked to 
package a limited-edition vodka 
for Glenmorangie that was to be 
given away at an MTV awards cer- 
emony, Williams Murray Hamm 
took inspiration from the 'Drink 
Me' bottle in Alice's Adventures in 
Wonderland. The designers chose 
a flask with a stopper made of 
cork that had been hand-dipped 
in black wax. A paper tag — with 
serif lettering and hand-penciled 
numbers — dangles enticingly. All 
the judges missed the literary ref- 
erence [ ??!.' — Ed.] but found the 
design's simplicity and craftsman- 
ship compelling. 'I like that they 
didn't come up with a fake name,' 
Gobe said. 'There's a purity in 
the message — "drink me" — and a 
purity in the design.'" [Shouldn't 
Carroll or Tenniel have luon it posthu- 
mously f] 

The winners of the first annual 
Wonderland Award were an- 
nounced at a reception in Doheny 
Library at the University of South- 
ern California on April 14, 2005. 
Creative writing undergraduate 
Charles Mallison and theatri- 
cal design major Lauren Tyler 
shared the $1,500 first prize. The 
Wonderland Award is a new multi- 
disciplinary competition (written 
papers, performance pieces, art 
objects, digital compositions, or 
filmed works) for USC students 
that encourages interest in Lewis 
Carroll, and promotes use of the 
Cassady Lewis Carroll Collection 
findingaids/cassady). Professor 
James Kincaid was the primary 
judge, and Vanessa St. Clair, great- 
granddaughter of Alice Liddell 
Hargreaves, was in attendance at 
the ceremony. 


"The Norman and Cynthia Ar- 
mour Collection of Fine Children's 
Books" auction at Christie's East in 
New York is discussed on p. 26. 


In June, BBC Radio 4 presented 
Dreaming Alice: Contemporary Writers 
Give a Twist to "Alice in Wonderland' 
in five 15-minute programs — one 
each day. You can listen to them 
over the Internet at the BBC Web 
site ( 

On February 8, 2005, the final 
game of the mxiomi Jeopardy! 
Teen Tournament aired. One of 
the categories in Double Jeopardy 
was Through the Looking-Glass. The 
questions included "What was 
a sheep?" — the answer for what 
the White Queen turned into"; 
and "What was Tiger Lily?". The 
winner of the tournament was 
Michael Braun from Hubert Blake 
High School in Silver Spring, MD. 
He took away $75,000. 



On June 30, the U.S. Postal Ser- 
vice issued a set of four stamps 
featuring "The Art of Disney®: 
Celebration," with the upper-right 
stamp depicting the Mad Hatter 
pouring tea for Alice. First-day 
covers, prints, cards, tote bags, 
magnets, lapel pins, and of course, 
stamps, can be purchased at shop. 
productDetail jsp?OID=4849421 . 

Edison: The Invention of the Movies, 
a boxed DVD set from Kino Inter- 
national, MoMA, and the Library 
of Congress, contains over fifteen 
hours of movies from the Edison 
studio, but omits his 1910 Alice in 
Wonderland. Tsk. 

An Alice "upside-down double 
doll" turns into the Queen of 
Hearts. Characters from the story 
are embroidered on Alice's dress 
and she holds a teapot with the 
sleeping dormouse [identified as the 
March Hare on the Web site.^ inside. 

Perfumiers Black Phoenix Al- 
chemy Lab offers thirteen "scents 
inspired by the madness of Alice's 
sojourns to Wonderland," includ- 
ing Two, Eive &" Seven ("A huge 
bouquet of squished rose petals: 
Bulgarian rose, Somalian rose, 
Turkish rose, Damascus rose, red 
and white rose, tea rose, wine rose, 
shrub roses, rose, rose, rose... and 
just an itty bitty bit of green grass") 
and Wliite Rabbit ("strong black 
tea and milk with white pepper, 
ginger, honey, and vanilla, spilled 
over the crisp scent of clean 
linen") , at www.blackphoenixal- 

MaxiLivres, a low-cost publisher 
and book store chain, debuted five 
book-vending machines in Paris 
in June. Wonderland wdis one of the 
first titles. Albeit in French, pre- 

Tannebaum Treasures is not a 
display of the collection of our 
president, Alan Tannenbaum, but 
rather a commercial importer of 
Christmas tree (German: Tannen- 
baum) ornaments. Some Wonder- 
land items are in Showcase 2 of 

Comic lovers will want to aquire 
The Oz/Wonderland Chronicles from 
the publisher,, or 
their local shop. The preview issue 
came out in 2004, #0 is due in Sep- 
tember, and they plan to publish 
four more. "In the series, Dorothy 
and Alice, now college students liv- 
ing in modern-day Chicago, enter 
upon an adventure that takes 
them back into the realms of their